Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced an additional £200m investment in the adoption system over the next four years and announced that the law will be changed so that councils and courts favour adoption over other forms of care for vulnerable children.
The move is an attempt to reverse a trend that has seen the number of adoptions, and the number of children being placed for adoption, both fall in recent months.
A statement released by the Department for Education said government will seek to change legislation as soon as possible, "to make crystal clear that councils and courts must place children with the person best able to care for them right up until their 18th birthday – rather than with carers who can’t provide the support they need over the long term".
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Every single day a child spends waiting in care is a further delay to a life full of love and stability – and this simply isn’t good enough. We have a responsibility to transform the lives of our most vulnerable children, making sure they get the opportunities they deserve.
“That’s why we are changing the law on adoption to make sure decisions rightly prioritise children’s long-term stability and happiness, so that children are placed with their new family as quickly as possible, helping them fulfil their potential and get the very best start in life.”
The government has also announced £200m in funding over the next four years to support the development of regional adoption agencies, strengthen voluntary adoption agencies, increase the number of adoptions for harder to place children by continuing to pay the inter-agency fee, and to increase funding for the Adoption Support Fund each year.