Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Permanence and adoption debate 1

Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell said "we badly need to find more adopters", during a consensual debate entitled "permanence and adoption" on 6 November 2012.

This week marks the 15th anniversary of National Adoption Week run by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering .

Ms Campbell paid tribute to this year's campaign: "Rule Yourself In", as she said too many people ruled themselves out of being potential adopters due to age, wage or location, when they could provide a home for a child.

She said it was important to "shorten the length of time it takes to find a permanent home for a child", highlighting the longest example of a wait for a child in care to get a permanent home of 10 years 10 months.

The minister said despite the changes brought in by the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act in 2007 to allow single people and same sex couples to adopt, there had been no significant increase in adopters coming forward.

Her plea was echoed by Labour's Neil Bibby who said increased numbers of foster parents and improvements to the adoption process are also required.

There are 16,000 looked-after children in Scotland, many of whom need permanent homes, yet in 2010 there were less than 500 adoptions according to Adoption UK.

Mr Bibby said: "There is a growing need to increase the number of parents willing to adopt, increase the number of foster carers and improve the adoption process.

"Lengthy delays in decision-making in establishing permanency are not only frustrating for the parents but can also be damaging and confusing for the child."

Liam McArthur, the Scottish Liberal Democrat said givern the current issues around looked after children, fostering and adoption it was "clear we are collectively continuing to fail in our corporate parent responsibilities", with "too many children waiting too long" with multiple temporary placements.

He did stres the benefits of adoption for both children and adoptive parents.

Conservative MSP Nanette Milne and SNP MSP Gil Paterson gave moving personal speeches echoing the point, talking of their adopted children.

There was widespread cross-party backing for the Scottish government's new parenting strategy and the new National Adoption Register.

The video for the second part of the debate can be viewed below:

Permanence and adoption debate 2


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