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Adoption register to open to approved adopters

Department for Education announces the next set of adoption reforms will come into force in July.

Approved adopters will be given access to the adoption register from July, the Department for Education (DfE) announced today.

The opening up of the Adoption and Children Act Register is one of several new rules being introduced in July as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to accelerate the adoption process.

Other rules due to come into force from July include:

• a duty for local authorities to actively consider fostering-for-adoption arrangements
• a requirement for councils to inform prospective adopters about their entitlements
• rules designed to ensure that ethnicity is not prioritised over other factors when matching children with families

“Our reforms to the register, greater use of Fostering for Adoption and the removal of unnecessary delay will mean would-be adopters can play a greater role in the process and help ensure children are placed with a new loving family much more quickly,” said children’s minister Edward Timpson.

The government has also published its response to its consultation on changes to adoption regulations and guidance.

In the response, the DfE says it will make a number of changes to adoption guidance and regulations, including:

• requiring approved adopters who are given access to the adoption register to treat the information as confidential and inform the register if any information from it is lost, stolen or disclosed
• encouraging information about adoption to be provided directly to adopted children and young people where appropriate
• requiring birth parents to be given an explanation of the procedures and legal implications if they child enters a fostering for adoption placement
• expecting local authorities to make sure that teams likely to come into contact with adoptive families provide information on adoption support or refer them to the adoption support services adviser.

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