Councils have been ordered to end a culture of “political correctness” which prevents children from being adopted.
Education minister Tim Loughlin said the Government “did not care” about the ethnic background of potential adoptive parents or whether they smoked or were overweight.
He spoke as new figures revealed just three per cent of children in care in Solihull ended up being adopted. In Birmingham the figure was ten per cent and nationally the figure was 12 per cent.
The figures did not reveal what happened to the rest but Mr Loughlin said that, while some may be returned to their natural parents, others would simply grow up in care homes.
Addressing possible adoptive parents, he said: “It’s a big ask. It’s a great thing to do.
“If you think you can do it, no matter whether you smoke, you may be a bit overweight, you may be of a certain ethnic origin, you may be white middle class or whatever, we don’t care.
“As far as I’m concerned the most important thing is can you offer as safe stable loving family place for a child who needs it?”
The figures also revealed that, of those children put up for adoption in Solihull, 86 per cent were placed with adoptive parents within a year, with the figure falling to 69 per cent in Birmingham.
In Britain’s most successful authority, York, every child who was adopted was found a new home within 12 months.
Solihull Council said children may be in care temporarily because of an illness or bereavement, and the council would then focus on returning them to their birth families with appropriate support when possible.
A Birmingham Council spokeswomen said: “Birmingham’s adoption and fostering service was recently judged by Ofsted as being ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ management.
“Our performance around the speed of placement improved last year over the preceding year though we recognise the speed of some adoptions could no doubt be further improved.”