Charity hits back at claims IVF has impacted adoption rates

National adoption charity Home for Good has rejected a claim that the rise in IVF success has led to a collapse in adoption.

The claim was made by senior child advocate Anthony Douglas, the chief executive of the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

It's not IVF that's hit adoption rates, says Home for Good.Pixabay

But leading adoption and fostering charity Home for Good has rejected the claim, arguing that framing adoption as the preserve of those who are unable to have birth children is a gross misunderstanding.

Adoptive father and founding director of Home for Good, Dr Krish Kandiah, said that 'the claims are a misunderstanding of the very essence of adoption. Ultimately, adoption is not about family completion but the flourishing of vulnerable children. Conflating infertility and adoption is not helpful and the claims that IVF success has caused a "collapse in adoption" is so simplistic it paints an untrue picture. Adoption is for all those who want to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children, not just those suffering with infertility.'

He added: The charity I founded aims its recruitment of new foster or adoptive families, not at those facing infertility, but at those willing to open their homes to vulnerable children in need of a loving, stable home. We've seen a whole range of people step forward including those who choose to adopt instead of having birth children as well as others, like myself, who have already had birth children.'

The numbers of children being adopted are significantly lower than in previous decades but the reasons include a huge decrease in so-called 'relinquished babies' as societal attitudes towards single parents have improved, the rise in children being cared for within the birth family network and a recent court judgment that argued that adoption should be seen as a last resort.

Anya Sizer, a mother through both IVF and adoption and regional organiser for the Fertility Network, has also rejected the claims that IVF is a huge success story, arguing that IVF is not the panacea that it is portrayed to be.

'Access to IVF is still patchy and treatment is still more often unsuccessful than successful. The challenges experienced by those facing infertility are great, as are those faced by adoptive families caring for very vulnerable children who have often experienced severe trauma,' she said.

'Adoption is not the responsibility of infertile couples. It falls to all of us to ensure that every child is flourishing in a loving home, fertile or not.'