Guests from all walks of life were invited to a No10 roundtable earlier this month to share their personal experiences of adoption and the care system.
The event, hosted by Michelle Donelan, Minister for Children and families, and supported by government-funded Christian adoption charity Home for Good, marked both National Adoption Week and Black History Month.
Former Olympian Kriss Akabusi; MOBO Awards founder Kanya King; Lord Hastings MP joined BBC presenter Ashley John-Baptiste in talking movingly about the challenges they had faced as Black adopters or Black children in the care system.
Celebrity vocal coaches David and Carrie Grant spoke about the common barriers many ethnic minority parents face when thinking about adopting. These included financial worries, not always having a spare room available, and cultural concerns over the perception of Black families who choose to adopt rather than – or in addition to – having birth children.
Minister for Children and Families, Michelle Donelan, said:
“Adoption can transform a child’s life and having stability and permanence in the formative years is critical.
“We know Black children are significantly less likely to be adopted, and that recruiting BAME adopters is a particular challenge for some local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies.
“This is an important issue for this Government. We are investing significant funding to boost BAME adoption recruitment and working with churches and mosques to encourage adopters from a range of backgrounds, but there is more to do.
“Placing children with loving families remains a priority and I want to encourage the sector to work with us to positively change the outcomes for BAME children in care.”
Attendees also took part in a group discussion to consider the reasons BAME children were less likely to be adopted, what needed to be done to increase the adoption rates of BAME children, and what actions could be taken to address regional variances.