British Association for Adoption and Fostering

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The British Association for Adoption and Fostering (until 2001,[1] British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering) is a UK registered charity and membership organisation that was formed in 1980.[1] David Holmes, its current Chief Executive, worked as a solicitor before moving on to children’s services in both local and central government.[2] Anthony Douglas has been the chair of BAAF since November 2003 and has served as Chief Executive of CAFCASS, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service since 2004.[3]

Nicky Campbell, presenter of BBC Radio 5 Live, is one of BAAF’s patrons. Campbell was adopted. BAAF's other patrons[4] are Andrew Barton, the Rt Hon Baroness Butler-Sloss, Annabell Elliot, Clare Grogan and Nimmy March. BAAF's President is Rupert Hambro.



BAAF publishes a monthly newspaper, Be My Parent, which also has a website[5] Both Be My Parent services feature children who need a family to adopt or foster them, and the website also offers general information about adoption and fostering. Every other month, the Be My Parent newspaper contains a "News & Features" supplement, with information and articles about a particular adoption and fostering topic.

BAAF also provides advice, publishes books, offers training courses, and holds 10 conferences a year.[6]

Another service, the Adoption Register for England and Wales, based in Leeds, is operated by BAAF on behalf of the Department for Education and the Welsh Assembly. This Register holds a database of children waiting to be adopted as well as approved prospective adopters awaiting an adoptive placement. In December 2009, BAAF announced the 1000th child to be linked via its service. BAAF won a second tender to run the Register from April 2009 to 2012.[7]

BAAF operates the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) [8] in England, on behalf of the Department for Education. The remit of the IRM (fostering) is to carry out an independent review of fostering suitability applications from potential and current foster carers whose fostering service provider has decided not to approve them as a foster carer, or to terminate or change the terms of their approval. The IRM (adoption) undertakes an independent review of a prospective adopter's application to adopt where an agency panel's recommendation was not to approve. It also considers adoption disclosure applications from people where an adoption agency is proposing that protected information from adoption records will be disclosed or withheld, contrary to the views expressed by the person the information is about.

BAAF delivers Post Qualifying training in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University in England, with Stirling University in Scotland and with Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. It hopes to develop similar training in Wales.[9][10]


BAAF campaigned to allow unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, to adopt jointly. In 2009 BAAF made a public apology after the Daily Mail exposed its use of the word “retard” to refer to critics of adoption by gay men. Mencap, the charity for people with a learning disability, called the use of the word a “disgrace”.[11]

BAAF also campaigns include advocating the right for adopted people to receive information about their birth families, as well as for post-care adults who weren’t adopted, and also people who were donor conceived.

BAAF also campaigns to allow support for foster children to stay in care after the age of 18.[12]

Additionally, it runs National Adoption Week (established in 1997) which is dedicated to finding families for those children who wait the longest.[13]

In January 2009 BAAF launched Somebody Else’s Child, the first national campaign on private fostering.[14]


External links