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Adoptive parents struggle with a lack of support - Family Law expert Chris McIntosh discusses further

Given how long prospective adoptive parents must wait to have a child placed with them, and the rigorous screening to which they are subjected, it is shameful that many receive very little in the way of post-adoption support.While Local Authorities must assess adoptive families for the support they may require, they only do so upon request. This is cold comfort for families who do not know that they are entitled to this help. In addition, the report states that many families who have requested a post-adoption assessment have either not received it, or have not received the support recommended as a result.  This is because the decision whether or not to offer support, even when it has been assessed as necessary, is at the Local Authority’s discretion – there is no statutory obligation. In these straightened times, many Local Authorities are looking for ways to save money. It therefore comes as no surprise that many may not be keen to provide support in borderline cases.With so many people desperate to adopt a child, it would be a tragedy if adoptions were to breakdown and children were to return to care due to their adoptive parents not receiving the vital support to help them succeed. Even at the most basic – financial - level, this is surely a case of a short-term cost saving but in return for much greater expense in the long run. This is without even factoring in the human cost.

By Chris McIntosh, Family Law Expert