STAFFORD’S MP has welcomed a Government move to speed up adoption and remove historical barriers to the process including faith and age.
After concerns were raised by prospective adoptive parents locally, Mr Lefroy asked the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove to confirm he was looking at all barriers those looking to adopt might face, including religious faith.
Mr Gove said: “There have been a number of occasions in the past when, for the best of motives, social workers have felt it inappropriate to match children with prospective adopters because faith might have been seen as a barrier.
“I do not believe that faith should be a barrier to ensuring that children find a loving home.”
Mr Lefroy said the statement was a clear and welcome message.
“I hope that local authorities will take note of his comments and note that alongside wider policy changes, the Government is making sure that more children and young people in care will be able to access the love and support of family life.”
Staffordshire County Councillor, Mike Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children's wellbeing said: "In Staffordshire we view adoption as a positive option for all children unable to return to their birth family.
"We always try to place children with families able to meet the majority of their needs," he said. "We have a good track record for placing children with families of a similar ethnic or religious background, however where this is not possible children are not left waiting for the ideal match, because we will search for families locally and nationally ."
Additionally Mr Lefroy said he was encouraged to note a recent six per cent increase in adoptions reversing a long-term decline in the process.