Ethnic emphasis

November 05, 2010, 10:27 PM GMT+0

The majority of Brits think that ethnic background is just one of many important factors when selecting adoptive parents for a child. This comes as Children’s Minister Tim Loughton marks National Adoption Week by announcing an update in adoption guidance, stressing that the race of the child or prospective parents should not be an obstacle to adoption.

  • 53% of Brits say 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.
  • 25% do not think that ethnic background should be a consideration at all in placing children with adoptive parents.
  • 15% think that ethnic background is important, and children should only be placed with a family of the same ethnic background unless there is a very good reason not to do so.

The 'perfect match'

Current guidelines suggest that race should be taken into consideration when placing a child with a family, but should not be a block to adoption.

However, according to Loughton some social workers place ‘too much emphasis’ on finding ‘the perfect match’, which hinders the process for both children and prospective parents.

Although children from ethnic backgrounds are over-represented among those seeking adoption, it often takes up to three times as long to find them an adoptive family. Loughton commented that although children tend to do better in families that share their ethnic and cultural heritage, ‘it is much better that a child is adopted by loving parents than left waiting for their future to be decided.’

National Adoption Week 2010 has been running since 1st November and will end this Sunday.

See the survey details and full results here