The Department of Health has today published the “Children Adopted from Care in Northern Ireland 2020/21”.
This bulletin details statistical information relating to children adopted from care during the year ending 31 March 2021. 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 2020/21, which was collected from each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts.
- During the year ending 31 March 2021, 57 children were adopted from care in Northern Ireland, almost half the number of the year before (111);
- The average age of children at the time of adoption was at 3 years 10 months, somewhat younger than in previous years;
- From the child’s last entry into care, the average length of time for a child to be adopted in 2020/21 was 3 years 2 months. This was similar to the last three years;
- For children adopted in 2020/21, the average duration from the HSC Trust proposal that adoption was in the best interest for the child (the Looked After Child Best Interest Proposal) to the Adoption Order was 2 years 6 months, slightly longer than in recent years; and
In 2020/21, children adopted by Concurrent Carers were younger at the time of adoption (3 years 3 months compared with the national average of 3 years and 10 months) and they also had a shorter last duration in care (2 years 9 months compared with the regional average of 3 years 2 month).
 The child is placed with carers who are approved as foster carers and adopters while the future of the child is still being decided.
Notes to editors:
1. This publication is available on the Department of Health website.
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 2020 to 31 March 2021.
This statistical bulletin was produced by Community Information Branch, DoH.
3. Further information is available from:
Community Information Branch
Information Analysis Directorate, Department of Health,
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Tel: (028) 90 522580
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