Changes in law to boost adoption14 March 2014
The new Children and Families Act – given royal assent yesterday – will ensure vital changes to the adoption system can be put into practice, meaning more children who need loving homes are placed with adopters faster.
Edward Timpson, Children and Families Minister, said: “The Children and Families Act is all about reforming services for vulnerable children – reflecting this government’s deep determination to give every child, whatever their start in life, an equal chance to make the best of themselves.”
New legal provisions include allowing approved adopters to search the Adoption Register of children waiting to be adopted.
The Act will also help adopters to better balance their work and home life with the following measures:
- from April 2015, adopters can opt to share parental leave around their child’s placement.
- adoption leave and pay will reflect entitlements available to birth parents from April 2015 – no qualifying period for leave; enhanced pay to 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks; and time off to attend introductory appointments. Intended parents in surrogacy and ‘foster to adopt’ arrangements will also qualify for adoption leave and pay.
- extending the right to request flexible working to all employees from 30 June 2014.
- replacing the current statutory procedure, through which employers consider flexible working requests, with a duty on employers to consider with requests in a ‘reasonable’ manner.
Gemma Gordon-Johnson, Head of Service, at First4Adoption, commented: “We welcome these changes that will make it easier and quicker for adopters to be matched with children needing new loving families, and help adoptive parents to balance their work and family lives.”
If you have any questions about adopting, please call our advisers on 0300 222 0022.
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