Martin Narey is wrong.
John Hemming MP, Chairman of Justice for Families, has struck out at Martin
Narey for his suggestion that more babies should be taken into care and that
more adoptions is the solution to prevent situations like that in Edlington.
"Martin Narey demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the stastical realities
as to what has happening in England. The number of babies taken into care
under 1 month has jumped from 430 in 1995 to 1,140 in 2006. Of the 1,140 in
2006 670 were taken into care in the first seven days of their life
essentially "at birth".
"He also makes the assumption that once a child is adopted all is good.
Sadly the government are turning a blind eye to the number of disrupted
adoptions. In 2006 6,000 children under 10 years old were taken into care
and 3,520 children under 10 left care through adoption. That means 59% of
children leaving care through adoption.
"The government themselves said this year that "This does not mean that adoption is appropriate for more than a minority of children"
"The government have refused to attempt to find out how many adoptions
result in children returning to care. It is quite clear that Reactive
Attachment Disorder affects a number of children taken into care at an early
age and then adopted at or around 2-3 years old. This often results in a
disrupted adoption and a child returning to care with additional
"There are statistics about the numbers of failed adoptions where the
adoption fails in the same local authority as it occurs, but this is only a
small part of the story. Channel 4 recently identified that the number of
failed adoptions is increasing. Martin Narey, however, repeats the mantra
"More adoptions, More adoptions".
"Our policy making really should be evidence based. For that we need the
research. That is where the government are failing.
"Martin Narey should not look at adoption as a solution for the chidlren in
Edlington. It is not in any way clear that the outcome for children aged 10
and 11 could be predicted reliably before they were born. The question
about Edlington is why there was no response at an earlier age of 5 or 6.
I think that arises from the concentration on babies and adoption that the
system now has. We need to change direction rather than go further in a direction
that is clearly failing."