Over the last 40 years, i.e. since the birth of the first “test-tube baby”, adoptions in England and Wales have fallen by 62%. At the same time, the success of IVF in women under the age of 35 has almost tripled.
Anthony Douglas is the CEO of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) and was adopted himself. He explains that the adoption process in England is “much slower”and that “it is competing with lots of other ways of having children”. He adds: “Every child deserves a family to live and grow up in but adoption still takes twice as long as it should, which puts people off”. However, in-vitro fertilisation fails in 70% of cases and it takes approximately four and a half years to conceive on average.
According to data generated by the Office for National Statistics, 12,121 children were adopted in England and Wales in 1978. In 2017, 4,350 children taken into care in England were adopted and over 300 children in Wales. But the number of adoptions is decreasing while the number of children taken into care in England is increasing—72,670 children in March 2017.
BBC News (03/11/2018) – Adoptions fall by 62% as IVF success rises – BBC News