The Department of Health has published the ‘Children Adopted from Care in Northern Ireland 2017 / 18’.

This bulletin details statistical information relating to children adopted from care during the year ending 31st March 2018. The tables within the bulletin present a range of information about these children and their adopters, including durations between different stages in the adoption process.

The bulletin is based on the Department of Health statistical return AD1 2017/18, which was collected from each of the five health and social care trusts.

The key findings reveal that:

  • 84 children were adopted from care in Northern Ireland during the year ending 31st March 2018
  • The average age of children at the time of adoption was four years, two months – three months younger compared to the previous year
  • From the child’s last entry into care, the average length of time for a child to be adopted in 2017 / 18 was three years, two months. This was two months longer than the previous year
  • For children adopted in 2017 / 18, the average duration from the health and social care trust proposal that adoption was in the best interest of the child (the LAC Best Interest Proposal) to the adoption order was two years, two months – two months shorter than in 2016 / 17
  • Children adopted by concurrent carers were substantially younger at the time of adoption (three years, 0 months compared with the national average of four years and two months). They also had a shorter last duration in care (two years, three months, compared with three years, two months)

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