The British Association Of Social Workers (BASW) has launched an Enquiry looking into the UK’s current adoption practices. 

The Enquiry itself was launched in May 2016, and is still ongoing. The review includes a questionnaire (which can be accessed through the link in the first paragraph), one day events across the UK for stakeholders, focus groups and interviews with interested parties and written submissions.

PLEASE NOTE: THE ENQUIRY ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS. Thank you to Cobalt Atomic for notifying us of this. 

The Enquiry will consider the non consensual nature of adoption, or forced adoption as it is sometimes called, social workers’ involvement in the practice of removing children from parents without their consent and the ethical  and human rights issues underpinning this practice.

The Enquiry page outlines the BASW Code of Ethics for Social Work:

‘Ethical awareness is fundamental to the professional practice of social workers. Their ability and commitment to act ethically is an essential aspect of the quality of the service offered to those who engage with social workers. Respect for human rights and a commitment to promoting social justice are at the core of social work practice throughout the world.

Social workers have a responsibility to apply the professional values and principles … They should act with integrity and treat people with compassion, empathy and care.’

An independent enquiry team has also been set up to oversee the work, led by Brigid Featherstone, and Dr Anna Gupta.

A steering group has also been put together, which will report to the Policy Ethics and Human Rights Committee and the BASW Council. The steering group members are:

  • Dr Ruth Allen,
  • Dr Lauren Devine,
  • Janice McGhee,
  • Maggie Mellon and;
  • Allan Norman

The Enquiry will be publishing a report once it has compiled all the information it receives. If you would like to know more, or wish to send in a submission you can email the BASW at: 

We have also invited members of this Enquiry to interview, so we will keep you posted.

Thank you to Tom Perkins for alerting us to the Enquiry.