The Adoption and Children Act 2002 has the effect of recasting the whole of adoption law in England and Wales. According to the Government, the Act will be "of lasting significance to thousands of children and their new families". It creates "an essential framework to safeguard the welfare of the child and support adoptive families" and "will help to ensure that the adoption service is fairer and more efficient". This new legislation, however, is far more detailed and complex than what went before. Furthermore, its passage through Parliament was attended by far more controversy. The new law has taken more than ten years to finalise and throughout this period a wide variety of forceful opinions on adoption have been expressed. This book seeks to explain the various controversies and place them in a wider social and political context. It considers the validity of the Government's bold assertions by analysing the Act's elaborate adoption provisions.