Babies taken straight from hospital to be adopted

Forty children were adopted in Sheffield last year, including babies taken straight from hospital to new families.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 3:46 pm
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 5:15 pm
Forty children were adopted in Sheffield last year

Around 15 per cent of children in care ended up being adopted, which is higher than the national average, and the process took around a year in most cases.

The council made 11 Foster to Adopt placements compared to five the previous year.

These children have not yet had their official adoption agreed by the court but are placed with approved adopters as a foster placement. It means the child can settle in with their forever family as soon as possible.

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Paul Dempsey, assistant director of provider services, told a council meeting: “Early permanent placements are where our looked-after children, who we are almost certain will be adopted but it hasn’t been agreed by the courts, are going to their forever family as soon as possible.

“It means they don’t have to go into foster care and it’s mostly babies who go straight from the hospital to their forever family.”

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children and families added: “If, before the baby is born, it’s considered for the best that it is adopted, we ask the adoptive parents to take the baby while the process goes through.

“They are still assessed, they are fostering the baby until the decision is made at court and they can say they don’t want the baby during the process.

“It’s a bit of a risk but it’s mostly okay. Even if they don’t adopt, that young baby has had a great start in life.”

During the year, two of the children placed with Foster to Adopt carers were returned to the care of family members following a change in care plan away from adoption. There was also one child whose adoption placement was disrupted.

The council says it has investigated and information is being shared across the service to learn lessons.