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AD1 - Adoption of Looked After Children

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This statistical bulletin provides information about children adopted from care in Northern Ireland during the year ending 31 March. The tables in the bulletin detail a range of information relating to children adopted from care, including gender and age, and the durations between different stages in the adoption process. Information was collected from HSC Trusts using the annual AD1 statistical return.


  • Sixty-four children were adopted from care during the year ending 31 March 2008, eight more than the number adopted in 2006 (56).
  • Between 2006 and 2008, the percentage of looked after children adopted from care increased slightly from 2.2% to 2.7%..
  • In 2007/08, the average age of children adopted from care was 4 years 11 months.
  • From last entry into care, the average length of time for a child to be adopted in 2008, was 3 years 6 months, 7 months less than the time taken in 2006 (4 years and 1 month).
  • For children adopted in 2008, the average duration from the Trust LAC best interest proposal to adoption was 2 years 5 months, compared with 2 years 8 months in 2006.
  • In 2008, 39 (61%) children were adopted by foster carers, 13 more than the number in 2006 (26).
  • Of the 39 children adopted by foster carers in 2008, 14 (36%) were placed for adoption within 12 months of the Trust best interest decision, and 25 (64%) were placed 12 months or longer after the best interest decision.
  • The average age of children at adoption by foster carers was 6 years, compared with 3 years 3 months for other adopted children.
  • The average length of time from last entry into care to adoption for foster carer adoptions was 4 years 1 month, 1 year 6 months longer than for other adopted children (2 years 7 months).
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