HC Deb 01 December 1988 vol 142 cc382-3W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what basis local authorities use in assessing an upper age limit for adoption; what that limit is; and whether he intends to review present arrangements governing adoptions.

Mrs. Currie

Adoption agencies, which include local authorities, are under a statutory obligation to choose the most suitable available family for each child. Age is one factor taken into account by agencies in making a decision. Agencies follow the accepted good practice that babies should generally be placed with adopters who are at an age at which most couples start a family. However, many agencies welcome prospective adopters beyond this age to meet the needs of older children or children whose care and upbringing call for experience or particular skills.

Having introduced the Children Bill we plan to turn to a reivew of the adoption legislation as soon as the opportunity occurs and will examine the present arrangements as part of that review.

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