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Three Questions for Children's Services

John Hemming, MP for Birmingham Yardley, and chairman of Justice for Families has challenged the adoption industry to answer three questions to justify current practise in handling adoptions.

The questions are:

How do those working for Childrens' Services, the Family Courts or elsewhere in similar spheres justify (using quantative methods) the following:

a) The massive growth in newborn babies taken into care between 1995 and 2006 (of the children adopted in those years 370 were initially taken into care at the age of 1 week or below for 1995 and 920 for 2006).

b) The fact that 120 children are adopted from care each year in scotland, but about 3,700 in England with only 10 times the population.

c) The fact that the age profile of those children being adopted is not the same as those who "languish in care"

This challenge was issued privately to the lobby sector last week - and no answer has been received - and is now being made public.

John Hemming said, "Those defending the status quo have failed to answer these questions. There is evidence from four London boroughs that 34% of care proceedings are issued because of parental substance misuse. This clearly does not explain the massive jump in numbers of newborn babies (under 1 week) being taken into care in England. Nor does it explain why we don't see the same picture in Scotland. After all there are problems with drugs and alcohol in Scotland as well as England."

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