A fortnight before my adopted daughter's arrival date, as I set up the cot in the baby's room and excitedly folded nappies and miniature clothes, I took a call from a social worker. Due to a previously overlooked piece of discretionary bureaucracy, she told me matter-of-factly that she might now delay the adoption by as much as a year. I was gripped by rage, horror and helplessness. That is the experience, for one reason or another, of too many prospective adopters. And at the same time vulnerable children languish in care – every extra week that they are separated from their “forever family” makes it harder for them to adjust throughout the rest of their lives.

I’m deeply grateful I know how to play the system, because I doubt I’d have my daughter otherwise. I looked up the legislation, enlisted a friendly politician, and a fortnight later held my daughter in my arms. I also decided I’d work with anyone and everyone to change our adoption system.

 So what needs to change?








In my view we need a national solution to a national problem. We need to make it easier for prospective parents to adopt, and quicker for children to be matched with the families who can provide the love and support they need. I sincerely hope that the Government’s current plans to reform the system succeed.

Published in The House Magazine