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Catherine McKinnell MP, Labour's Shadow Minister for Children and Young Families, warning that the Government's shake-up of adoption laws must give top priority to placing children in happy homes, said:

“I welcome the Government’s apparent commitment to increasing the number of adoptions that take place and speeding up the process.

“Those choosing to give a loving home to a vulnerable child should be given every encouragement and support.

“Placing children for adoption is a complicated process. The Government must focus on increasing successful adoption places, and not just on speed and boosting numbers.

“Breakdown of an adoption placement is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a child, and local authorities are clearly reluctant to take that risk.

“Successful adoptions also depend on there being long-term support for adoptive families. Some of these children have specific needs, that may only come to light in their teens.

"Families who take on the responsibility for children coming out of the care system should have every support available to them to ensure the best for them and their adopted child.”

Figures released earlier this year showed that of 3,660 babies under the age of one who were in care in England, only 60 were adopted.

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