Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Speaking in Parliament on Friday, Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, called for measures to speed up adoption of children in care.

    He quoted figures showing that where the State acts as parent it has disastrously failed the children in its care.

    Children leaving care are:

    4 times as likely as other young people to be unemployed

    12 times as likely to have no educational qualification

    60 times as likely to be roofless

    40 times as likely to go to prison

    8 times as likely to become teenage parents

    66 times as likely to have children who also go into care.

    By contrast, children who are adopted usually do as well or better than the average even of children raised by their natural parents.

    However, our system has been institutionally hostile to adoption. Only 2,000 of the 58,000 children in care are adopted each year. And they suffer long delays during which they may be shunted from one foster family to another many times.

    Peter Lilley quoted friends who had experienced the hostility of some politically correct social workers. One West Indian friend was even rejected as an adoptive parent because he showed insufficient awareness of racism!

    Peter Lilley called for fast tracking ? especially for young children; ?passporting? of financial support to follow the child; and a campaign to change attitudes in favour of adoption.