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Council set to remove adoption age barrier

Committee convener Councillor Bob Band said the council is 'truly committed to giving babies and children the best start in life'.
Committee convener Councillor Bob Band said the council is 'truly committed to giving babies and children the best start in life'.

Age will no longer be a barrier to people wishing to adopt in Perth and Kinross, if councillors agree to amend their policy.

The council’s lifelong learning committee which meets on Wednesday May 25 will be asked to remove the existing age restriction to people applying to adopt.

“Current policy in Perth and Kinross dictates that there should be no more than 45 years of an age difference between the prospective adopter and the child,” says a report by Sheena Devlin, director of education and children’s services.

“This means that it would be possible to approve a prospective adopter under 45 years to adopt a child of any age but there is a restriction on the age of the child for anyone over the age of 45 years irrespective of their suitability, skill and experience of caring for children.

“It is desirable to update this aspect of the council’s policy in order to remove any potential barrier to new applicants to adopt, provide greater flexibility to allow the matching of children to the most suitable adoptive families, and avoid any challenge in terms of age discrimination.”

The report says the legislation covering adoption allows for single people, married couples, couples in a civil partnership and cohabiting couples (mixed sex or same sex) to adopt. The minimum age for applicants is 21.

Committee convener Councillor Bob Band said removing the age barrier could be a positive step for all involved.

“We hope we will get more people who want to become parents or add to their family through adoption,” he said.

“We are truly committed to giving babies and children the best start in life and the best possible adoptive family to grow up with.”

The committee is also asked to note the intention to introduce new practices which aims to place a small number of new-born babies directly with prospective adopters and avoid placement with foster carers.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer or applying to adopt a child can find out more information at www.pkc.gov.uk/fosteringadoption

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