The number of adoptions in Hackney has declined dramatically, according to new statistics.
In Hackney, only seven out of the 42 children looking for new homes were adopted in the last year and none of them were under the age of one. Only five children in care have been found homes this year.
This figure has fallen sharply from 16 children adopted in the area the previous year.
Nationwide figures, from the Department of Education, show that the number of babies adopted in England fell to 60 last year. The figures also show that it takes, on average, two years and seven months before children are adopted.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: “National figures on numbers of adoptions are decreasing and so London is no exception in this case. There has been evidence though that adoption from care takes longer for London boroughs than elsewhere in the country, due to differing challenges that London boroughs face for placing looked-after children for adoption.”
As Matt Dunkley, president of The Association of Directors of Children’s Services explained, delays to adoptions are as much a consequence of the court system as of local authorities, which means that decisions can take over a year to determine.
Hackney councillor Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “The Council has effective systems in place in order to keep adoption delays to a minimum, but will not hasten the matching of vulnerable children with potential adopters at the expense of depth and quality of our decisions.”