Saturday, February 19, 2011

UK: New Rules to Encourage Transracial Adoption

The UK will be issuing new guidance to social workers in hopes of speeding placement of minority children for adoption, says the Telegraph:
Ministers want new adoption guidance to allow families who meet existing criteria for a child to be able to adopt regardless of their race.

Under new guidance to be issued next week, councils will be told that preventing families from adopting children of a different ethnic group “is not child-centred and is unacceptable”.

The new guidance will state if a family has met the “emotional and developmental needs” of a child officials are to ignore their ethnic origin.

The guidance does not change the law but will make clear that race should not be a "deal-breaker" if the prospective adopters show that they are able to parent the child.

Current advice states that social workers must give “due consideration to the child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background”.

But the government believes these rules are not being interpreted properly by social workers, who are using race as their deciding factor.

The new “strengthened” guidance also makes clear that single prospective parents should not be discriminated against.

* * *

“Instead of placing obstacles in the way of families seeking to adopt a child of different ethnicity, they should be properly trained to cater for its cultural needs,” [the new guidance will say.]

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