Local authorities and adoption agencies are facing a battle to prevent would-be adoptive parents leaving the process due to the steep drop in children being approved for adoption, experts in the sector have warned.

As revealed by CYP Now last week, the number of court orders granted so that children can be adopted – known as placement orders – have more than halved in just nine months, a situation blamed on local authorities misinterpreting a legal judgment from last year. However, due to successful recruitment campaigns – and a major push by government to speed up the adoption process – there are currently thousands of parents who have been approved as adopters and are waiting to be matched to a child. Senior figures within the adoption sector have told CYP Now that the fall in placement orders has started to filter through, reducing the number of children waiting to be matched. One source said that has led to “uncertainty” and “anger” among prospective adopters, who now face the prospect of having to wait months longer to be matched with a child