Department for Education
Adoption Reform Update – December 2014 (extra)

Welcome to our extra December issue with an important update to the ‘Myth Buster’ guide ‘Impact of Court Judgments on Adoption: What the judgments do and do not say’. In November we informed you of the publication of the guide by the Adoption Leadership Board (ALB). In this issue we update you on the implications of the latest adoption court judgments and the subsequent publication of an addendum. Please disseminate among colleagues with an interest in adoption.

The Adoption Reform Team in DfE would like to take this further opportunity to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Addendum to the Myth-Buster: Impact of Court Judgments on Adoption: What the judgments do and do not say
A key new Court of Appeal judgment on adoption, Re R, was published on 17 December, which clarifies Re B-S and sets out clearly that the law on adoption has not changed.

The original Myth-Buster guide was published by the national Adoption Leadership Board (ALB) on 11 November to clarify the meaning of a number of high profile court judgments on care and adoption order cases, notably Re B and Re B-S.

The guide can be accessed through the websites of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) and First for Adoption (F4A).

The ALB has issued an addendum to the original guide to include key messages from Re R.

The addendum can be accessed at:

The ALB would be grateful if you would ensure that the addendum is seen by everyone in your organisation who has an involvement in adoption, such as those working in care planning and adoption teams. The addendum will be distributed to staff at all levels and across various disciplines in local authorities and to the family justice system via Local Family Justice Boards.  You should ensure it is circulated to all those working in care and adoption proceedings to make sure that procedures, practice and decision making accurately reflect the law.

Keeping you in touch
We are sending this update to those we have contact details for and look to you to disseminate this bulletin more widely among your colleagues and members. If you do not wish to receive this update please reply to this email and we will ensure your details are removed before any further updates are circulated. If any of your colleagues would like to be added to our circulation list, they should send their name, email address, job title and contact details to

If you have any suggestions as to how we might make these updates more useful to you – or items you would like to see – please let us know by contacting the email address above.

Adoption Reform Team
Department for Education 
December 2014