Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Children Adopted from Care in Northern Ireland 2022/23

Northern Ireland Executive
27 Sep 2023, 21 GMT+10

The Department of Health has today published the "Children Adopted from Care in Northern Ireland 2022/23".

This bulletin details statistical information relating to children adopted from care during the year ending 31 March 2023. 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 2022/23, which was collected from each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts.

Key Findings

  • during the year ending 31 March 2023, 108 children were adopted from care in Northern Ireland;
  • the average age of children at the time of adoption was at 4 years 4 months, and ranged from and ranged from 1 year 2 months to 9 years 3 months;
  • from the child's last entry into care, the average length of time for a child to be adopted in 2022/23 was 3 years 7 months. This was slightly higher than in recent years;
  • for children adopted in 2022/23, 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 2022/23, children adopted by Concurrent Carers[1] were younger at the time of adoption (3 years 10 months compared with the national average of 4 years and 4 months) and they also had a shorter last duration in care (3 years 3 months compared with the regional average of 3 years 7 month).

[1] The child is placed with carers who are approved as foster carers and adopters while the future of the child is still being decided.

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