The number of babies being made subject to special guardianship orders (SGO) in England has tripled in two years, according to data obtained by the BBC.
The measure sees a child placed with extended family, friends or foster parents until they reach 18 instead of being adopted or fostered.
The number of babies involved rose from 160 in 2012 to 520 in 2014, while most of the children are aged four or under.
The Department for Education says it is reviewing the situation.
But it has acknowledged local authorities are placing more young children with special guardians.
The number of children placed for adoption has been falling. Special guardianship is a long term placement and can be an alternative to adoption or care for children whose parents neglect or abuse them. To read more click here.
If you would like independent advice about special guardianship orders and to see if SGO is right for you please call Fosterline on 0800 040 7675.