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Map released to encourage adopters
A map showing the parts of England where most children are in need of parents has been published as part of a drive to cut adoption waits.
Education officials are concerned that prospective parents are often not being pointed to high-need areas if their own has few youngsters on its list.
The map is going online on the same day as a Government-funded hotline is launched offering advice from existing adopters on negotiating the process.
Children and families minister Edward Timpson said the initiatives should "arm would-be adopters with the information they need to approach any local area".
Rules allow people to apply to adopt from any part of the country.
"We know many potential adopters out there can provide children with loving, stable homes but simply don't know where to start," Mr Timpson said.
"These new tools will give many more people support in taking the first steps to adopting a child and giving them the chance to succeed in life."
The First4Adoption hotline can be accessed on 0300 2220022 between 10am and 6pm Monday to Friday and the map can be accessed on the Department for Education website at http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/families/adoption.