A total of 5,206 children were adopted, compared with 4,740 in 2011.
One to four year olds made up the majority (63%) of all children placed, with figures for this age group at a 14 year high, climbing from 34% in 1998.
The ONS suggested that the overall increase might relate to the recent focus on improving the adoption process in England and in Wales.
Coram Head of Adoption, Jeanne Kaniuk OBE, said the figures were encouraging: “Children need the security, stability and love of an adoptive family as early in their lives as possible, particularly after the difficult start most children who’ve been in care have experienced.
“Finding homes for older children is extremely important, but if we place more children with adopters when they’re younger, there are less of them growing up in the care system and waiting longer for a permanent home.
“As well as placing children for adoption, we must remember that families continue to need support after the adoption order has been granted and family life begins.
“Coram offers life-long post-adoption support to families adopting with us. This means that the door is open to parents if the ups and downs of family life become challenging.
“An increase in adoption is to be welcomed, but we must still work to ensure the quality and success of those adoptions.”
The Government recently announced funding of £16 million for Voluntary Adoption Agencies to find and prepare more adoptive parents.
There are over 4,000 children currently in care awaiting a permanent home and 2,000-3,000 adopters need to be recruited to meet the increased numbers of children coming into care.
Coram welcomes adoption enquires from:
Single people, married couples and couples in committed, long-term relationships
People from different ethnicities and religions
Heterosexual and homosexual people
People without children and those who are parents already
Homeowners or those in rented accommodation
People over the age of 21, who are UK residents and hold no criminal convictions against children
Those considering adoption who would like expert information and advice about all aspects of the process can also call First4Adoption on 0300 200 22220 from 10am-6pm, Monday – Friday.