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Sharp rise in adoption – but red tape means babies still missing out

By John Bingham, Telegraph

Michael Gove’s drive to speed up the adoption process has borne fruit with a sharp rise in the number of children given permanent homes, official figures show.

But while the number of toddlers and young children placed with stable and secure families has hit a 36-year high, the number of babies being adopted remains stubbornly low.

It suggests that red tape and delays in the court process are still taking their toll.

And fewer older children – who are considered harder to place as they often have more complex problems – were adopted last year than at any point since records began.

Overall the number of children adopted in England and Wales has jumped by 10 per cent in a single year to 5,205 in 2012, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

More than six out of 10 of them – or 3,161 children – were between the ages of one and four, a proportion which has more than doubled since the late 1990s.

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