LONDON – Race should no longer be a key criteria for social workers seeking adoptive families for children in care, Britain’s Government said – stressing that the priority must be to find a child a new home quickly.
Education Secretary Michael Gove, who was himself adopted, said that for too long sensitivities about ethnicity had complicated efforts to place black and ethnic minority children, meaning they wait far longer than white children for a permanent home.
Dismissing critics who insist ethnicity must be a concern when matching a child to adoptive parents, he said “politically correct attitudes and ridiculous bureaucracy” had left officials too reluctant to authorise interracial adoptions. “As a result children from ethnic minority backgrounds languish in care for longer than other kids and are denied the opportunities they deserve.”
The Education Ministry said that on average, a white child waits 610 days to be placed with a permanent adoptive family, while black and ethnic minority children wait about 966 days.
Ethnic minority children are over-represented in Britain’s care system.
Britain’s new advice orders social workers to make placing a child with any suitable family their priority