PEOPLE approved to adopt in Blackburn with Darwen will be allowed to trawl the National Adoption Register under a new scheme.

The council is one of only 19 authorities that have been specially selected to pilot the scheme which will allow approved adopters to learn more about the children from across the country who are waiting for a loving, stable home.

From September, they will be able to find out about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, and hear them speak and laugh in videos and pictures to help match waiting children with their new family.

Currently the authority, and others including Lancashire County Council, tries to match adopters with children on their own register, but social workers of children on the National Adoption Register can approach them when necessary.

“Opening up the national register is designed to ensure children are placed more quickly with families who can give them stability and security.

Strict safeguards will be put in place to ensure the safety and privacy of children and approved adopters.

Minister for Children and Families Edward Timpson, who has two adopted brothers, said: “Allowing parents in Blackburn with Darwen who are approved to adopt to see videos and pictures, to hear the children speak and laugh, while keeping in place the strictest safeguards, will give them a greater role in the process and ensure more children are placed with their new family much more quickly.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council executive member for children’s services Frank Connor said: “A great deal of work gets done by an adoption department and a fostering department to increase the number of foster carers and adopters we have. Our main aim is to get our children into loving families, which allows them to have that stability that every child needs to move forward .”