Just 10% say ethnic background of adopting parents very important; 55% only one of many factors
Current adoption rules in the UK state that the ethnic background of a family wanting to adopt should be taken into account, but should not block an adoption if it does not match that of a child. Over half of Britons agree with this rule, our poll shows.
- 55% said it is preferable for children to be adopted by people of the same ethnic background but it should only be one among many other considerations
- 27% said it is not important that a child and their adoptive parents are of the same ethnic background and it should not be a consideration at all in placing children with adoptive parents
- 10% say it is important for children to be adopted by people of the same ethnic background and unless there is a good reason, children should only be adopted by people of a similar ethnic background
There is a slight divide between men and women on the subject, with twice as many men than women favouring families of the same ethnic background to a child up for adoption. However, 3 out of 5 women view ethnicity as only being one of many things to consider, next to half of men.
- 13% of men said that children should only be adopted by people of the same ethnic background, next to 6% of women
- 60% of women feel that the ethnic background of a family could be important but only as part of many considerations, along with 51% of men
- Over a quarter (28%) of men feel ethnic background is not important, along with a similar amount of women respondents (27%)
As a result of current legislation, Local authorities are sometimes reluctant to place children with adoptive parents from a different racial backgrounds, which has made it both difficult to find adoptive parents for black or Asian children, and difficult for white couples to find children to adopt.
Breaking down barriers
David Cameron has vowed to break down what he calls "barriers to adoption" that stop potential adoptive parents from giving a home to children who desperately need one.
"It is shocking that black children take twice as long as white children to be adopted" he said. "We will tackle the absurd barriers to mixed-race adoption which trap many non-white children in care."
New laws are expected to denote that race, cultural background or language must not be a ‘significant or decisive factor’ in placing children with adoptive parents. Legislation will also be put in place to stop social workers refusing to place children with couples who smoke or are overweight.
Social workers are accusing ministers of sweeping problems under the rug after they were blamed for the slow system, claiming that court hearings are often take up much of the time, and warning that an estimated 20% of adoptions break down.
Chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers, Hilton Dawson has said: “The country needs more money for public services and more social workers, not knee-jerk target setting.”