An adoptive father who heads up a charity dedicated to campaigning for children in care has been awarded an OBE.
Dr John Simmonds, of Priory Gardens, Highgate, was recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for services to children and families as director of policy, research and development at the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).
He said he has seen adoption change from a system mostly used by unmarried mothers to one used for children in care.
The 65-year-old, who adopted his two children through Camden Council, said: “It has been a wonderful combination of the personal and the professional.”
He added: “One of the things that has driven me is listening to children, and working directly with children, and recognising that it is fundamental to have a permanent, loving and stable family as we expect for all children.”
Dr Simmonds began his career as a social worker before becoming one of the first to teach a specialist course in child placement at Goldsmiths College in the 1980s.
He joined BAAF in 2000, and has become one of the most respected experts in adoption, fostering and looked-after children.
Caroline Selkirk, BAAF’s chief executive, said: “We are very proud of John and are thrilled that he and his work have been honoured.”
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