chapter
7 Pages

INTRODUCTION

A statement by the Prime Minister about adoption is now as likely to get as much media attention as one on law and order or taxation. At first sight, this is curious. After all, the number of children available for adoption is comparatively small. These children constitute a tiny fraction of the total numbers of children in care and parliamentarians hardly get exercised about the majority of those children. Indeed, given that more than half of them are in foster care, where is the debate about that? In the year ending March 2000, 3,135 children were adopted in England, which showed a steady increase from 1999 (2,880) and 1999 (2,410) (Hansard, 2001). At most, 5,000 children can be adopted out of a projected nearly 60,000 children in the care system over the next 5-10 years. The more noise about adoption, the quieter the voices of the other 55,000 children.