Today the government are releasing a map showing which local authorities have large numbers of children waiting to be adopted (BBC news article). The map makes mildly interesting viewing, but as it is just a raw number of children, with no allowance for population size or other factors, it is fairly meaningless from a statistical point of view.
Equally I think the map makes no difference to prospective adopters either. In theory we have the right to ask any local authority to take us on as prospective adopters, train us up and prepare the 'Prospective Adopters Report'. In practice it seems that LA won't take on prospective adopters unless they live in their region. It seems that despite all the talk in the media about the need for people to adopt, LAs can't train and assess all of the people that are applying within their area, so they don't have the resources to take on people from outside the area.
This is frustrating, but you wouldn't think it was a major issue - surely we can just apply to our LA?
We live in a city that acts as its own LA - the size of the city means that if the LA placed children with adopters inside the city, there is a strong chance that the child would bump into the birth family when going shopping etc. Therefore, the LA is very reluctant to take on adopters from inside their area. They haven't actually said no yet, but it looks like we are in the situation that our LA won't take us because we live in their region, and other LAs won't take us because we don't!
Add into the mix all the delays and poor communication we are having to deal with, and its not surprising that people are being put off adopting from the UK - Another blog I read has an open letter to the Prime Minster on a similar topic.