Daniela Nickols, Solicitor, Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors:
If Fostering for Adoption (FfA) is to be a justifiable means of achieving permanency for children in care, it must strike a balance between the competing perspectives of the child, the biological and the prospective parents, whilst simultaneously prioritising the welfare of the child. In order to determine its appropriateness an analysis of the risks and benefits is needed. Regardless of this analysis however, for the policy to achieve its purported aims of: ‘more adoptions, more quickly', it must also be workable in practice. This article, will outline the draft provisions in the Children and Families Bill 2013 which specifically relate to FfA, comment upon some of the theoretical difficulties with legislation as drafted and reflect upon some of the complexities which may arise in practice. This analysis will provide a basis for evaluating the proposed legislation, including the range of circumstances where it might be used.
The full version of this article appears in the February 2014 issue of Family Law.