The Government is to appoint its first adoption tsar to try to cut the number of children stuck in the care system waiting to find a family.
Martin Narey, the former head of the Prison Service and chief executive of children's charity Barnardo's, is set to be the first Ministerial Adviser on Adoption, reported The Times.
He is expected to be asked to make recommendations on how the process of adoption can be improved and to ensure that social workers take a positive approach to adoption as an option for children in care.
Only 3,200 children were adopted from care last year, and the average time between a child being removed from its natural parents and being adopted has increased to two years and seven months, said The Times, which has been campaigning for a change in attitudes to adoption.
The new adviser will report to Education Secretary Michael Gove, who was himself adopted as a young child.
The Department for Education said that no appointment had yet been made.