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Clause 41 — Child to live with adopters before application

Part of Orders of the Day — Adoption and Children Bill — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:23 pm on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Alan Haselhurst Alan Haselhurst Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means 3:23 pm, 16th May 2002

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Amendment No. 311, in page 25, line 36, leave out "married".

Amendment No. 312, in page 25, line 43, leave out "married".

Amendment No. 148, in clause 47, page 28, line 41, leave out "married".

Amendment No. 10, in page 28, line 41, leave out from "couple", to end of line 42 and insert—

'(b) an unmarried couple, or

(c) one person,'.

Amendment No. 18, in page 28, line 41, leave out "or".

Amendment No. 14, in page 28, line 42, after "person", insert—

', or

(c) an unmarried couple.'.

Amendment No. 11, in page 28, line 43, leave out "or 49" and insert—

'49 or [Adoption by unmarried couples]'.

Amendment No. 15, in page 28, line 43, leave out "or 49" and insert—

'49 or [Adoption orders unmarried couples]'.

Amendment No. 149, in page 29, line 1, leave out "spouses" and insert "couple".

Amendment No. 16, in page 29, line 2, after "section 48)", insert—

'or one member of the unmarried couple (in the case of an application under section [Adoption orders: unmarried couples]).'.

Amendment No. 12, in page 29, line 2, after "48)", insert—

'or one member of the unmarried couple (in the case of an application under section [Adoption by unmarried couples])'.

Amendment No. 150, in page 29, line 4, leave out "spouses" and insert "of the couple".

Amendment No. 13, in page 29, line 5, after "48)", insert—

'or both applicants (in the case of an application under section [Adoption by unmarried couples])'.

Amendment No. 17, in page 29, line 5, after "48", insert—

'or both applicants (in the case of an application under section [Adoption orders: unmarried couples]).'.

Amendment No. 24, in page 29, line 13, at end insert—

'(6) References in this Act to an unmarried couple will apply only to a man and a woman living together.'.

Amendment No. 151, in clause 48, page 29, line 15, leave out "married".

Amendment No. 152, in page 29, line 16, leave out "spouses" and insert "of them".

Amendment No. 153, in page 29, line 17, leave out "married".

Amendment No. 154, in page 29, line 19, leave out "spouse" and insert "of the couple".

Amendment No. 155, in page 29, line 21, leave out "spouse".

Amendment No. 156, in clause 49, page 29, line 24, at end insert—

'(1A) An adoption order may be made on the application of one person who has attained the age of 21 years if the court is satisfied that the person is the partner of a parent of the person to be adopted'.

Amendment No. 157, in page 29, line 27, leave out paragraph (a).

New clause 2—Adoption by unmarried couples

'(1) An adoption order may not be granted on the application of an unmarried couple unless the court is satisfied—

(a) that both of the applicants are over the age of twenty–one;

(b) for the period of 2 years ending with the date of the application, the partners have lived in the same household (otherwise than merely by reason of one of them being the other's employee, tenant, lodger or boarder); and

(c) that the applicants are not close relatives of each other.

(2) "Close relative", in relation to any person, means his grandparents, parents, children, step–children, uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces, brothers and sisters and step–brothers and step–sisters.

(3) In relation to any application made under this section, the court may take into consideration the arrangements which the applicants have made, or intend to make in order to safeguard the welfare of the child involved, should their relationship break down.'.

New clause 3—Adoption orders: unmarried couples

'(1) An adoption order may be made on the application of an unmarried couple where both members of the couple have attained the age of 21 years.

(2) An adoption order may be made on the application by an unmarried couple if the court is satisfied

(a) that they have been living together for at least two years at time of application,

(b) that the relationship between the couple is stable and is intended by each of them to be permanent, and

(c) that the unmarried couple has made arrangements to safeguard the financial and practical security of the child in the event of the ending of their relationship and to meet their joint and individual parental responsibilities.'.

New clause 13—Suitability of adopters

'(1) Regulations under section 9 may make provision as to the matters to be taken into account by an adoption agency in determining, or making any report in respect of, the suitability of any persons to adopt a child.

(2) In particular, the regulations may make provision for the purpose of securing that, in determining the suitability of a couple to adopt a child, proper regard is had to the need for stability and permanence in their relationship'.

Amendment No. 158, in clause 131, page 74, line 51, at end insert—

'(2B) In this Act, a couple means—

(a) a married couple, or

(b) two people (whether of different sexes or the same sex) living as partners in an enduring family relationship.

(2C) Subsection (2B)(b) does not include two people one of whom is the other's parent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt or uncle.

(2D) References to relationships in subsection (2C)—

(a) are to relationships of the full blood or half blood or, in the case of an adopted person, such of those relationships as would exist but for the adoption, and

(b) include the relationship of a child with his adoptive, or former adoptive, parents, but do not include any other adoptive relationships.

(2E) For the purposes of this Act, a person is the partner of a child's parent if the person and the parent are a couple but the person is not the child's parent'.

Amendment (a) to the amendment, in (2B)(a), leave out—

'whether of different sexes or the same sex' and insert "of different sexes".