The Department of Health has today published the "Children Adopted from Care in Northern Ireland 2021/22".
This bulletin details statistical information relating to children adopted from care during the year ending 31 March 2022. 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 2021/22, which was collected from each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts.
- During the year ending 31 March 2022, 89 children were adopted from care in Northern Ireland;
- The average age of children at the time of adoption was at 4 years 6 months, and ranged from a year and a half to close to 11 years old;
- From the child's last entry into care, the average length of time for a child to be adopted in 2021/22 was 3 years 4 months. This was slightly higher than in recent years;
- For children adopted in 2021/22, 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; and
- In 2021/22, children adopted by Concurrent Carers were younger at the time of adoption (3 years 11 months compared with the national average of 4 years and 6 months) and they also had a shorter last duration in care (3 years 2 months compared with the regional average of 3 years 4 months).
 The child is placed with carers who are approved as foster carers and adopters while the future of the child is still being decided.