The Department for Education has launched a new adoption map to inform would-be adopters of the areas in England with the highest number of children waiting for new homes.
The map (pdf) shows the number of children in each local authority waiting for a family to adopt them, showing potential adopters how many children are waiting in their area and elsewhere.
The map shows considerable regional differences with the East, South East and North West England having the highest concentration of children with an adoption decision who have not yet been placed with a suitable family.
By comparison, of the 34 boroughs in Greater London, only one is classed in the highest category of '48 children and over' waiting to be placed with an adoptive family. Sixteen of the boroughs are classed in the lowest category of '17 or fewer'.
A new telephone information and advice service (0300 222 0022) staffed by adopters will also open today to help potential adopters navigate the process of adopting a child.
Edward Timpson, Children and Families Minster, said: "Today we are providing potential adopters with the tools they need to find children who need adopting right across the country. Together the telephone ‘infoline' and the new ‘Hotspots' map will arm would-be adopters with the information they need to approach any local area.
"We know many potential adopters out there can provide children with loving, stable homes but simply don't know where to start. These new tools will give many more people support in taking the first steps to adopting a child and giving them the chance to succeed in life."
Today's announcements are part of the package of reforms set out by the Prime Minister last year to overhaul the adoption system to make it swifter, more effective and robust. It will include ways to give adopters a more active role in the process and the same rights to pay and leave as birth parents.
In addition, the National Gateway for Adoption website, launching later this year, will provide an online service for the first stages of the adoption process, making it easy for those thinking about adoption to find out how to decide whether they're up for the challenge and joy of being an adoptive parent.