Publication of ‘Children Adopted from Care in NI 2016/17’

Date published: 16 November 2017

The Department of Health has today published the ‘Children Adopted from Care in NI 2016/17’.

Chidren Adopted from Care image

This bulletin details statistical information relating to children adopted from care in, during the year ending 31 March 2017. The tables within the bulletin present a range of information about these children and their adopters, including durations between different stages in the adoption process. The bulletin is based on the DoH statistical return AD1 2016/17, which was collected from each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts.  

Key Findings

  • 120 children were adopted from care during the year ending 31 March 2017, the highest number in recent years
  • the average age of children at the time of adoption was 4 years 5 months, the same as the previous year
  • from the child’s last entry into care, the average length of time for a child to be adopted in 2016/17 was 3 years. This was one month longer than in 2015/16
  • for children adopted in 2016/17, the average duration from the Trust LAC1 best Interest Proposal to Adoption Order was 2 years 4 months, one month longer than in 2015/16
  • Children adopted by Concurrent Carers2 were substantially younger at the time of adoption (2 years 8 months compared with the national average of 4 years and 5 months). They also had a shorter last duration in care (2 years 3 months compared with 3 years)

[1] LAC – Looked After Child

[2] Description of Concurrent Carers and other type of carers/adopters can be found in Chapter 6 of the publication

Notes to editors: 

1. This publication is available online.

2. About the data:

The source of the data contained in this release is the Departmental AD1 statistical return, collected from Health and Social Services Trusts and relating to the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

3. This statistical bulletin was produced by Community Information Branch, DoH.

Further information is available from:

Community Information Branch               
Department of Health                           
Room 11, Annexe 2                                                                   
Castle Buildings

Tel:      (028) 90 522580

Fax:    (028) 90 523288


4. Media enquiries about this press release to DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0074, out of office hours contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

5. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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