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Adoption Support Fund - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:38 pm on 13th February 2020.

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Photo of Lord Russell of Liverpool Lord Russell of Liverpool Crossbench 5:38 pm, 13th February 2020

I thank all noble Lords who have taken part in this debate. We may be few in number but we speak for an awful lot of children and families who are not able to reside on these red Benches, albeit that I gather that we may have a few new arrivals imminently. The Minister commented that I had taken a positive approach in my speech. I return the compliment and thank him for being unusually positive and even effusive in his comments about the fund. I think that the department really does deserve a pat on the back—I am looking at the advisers in the Box—for having been responsible for a true, apolitical success which is making an enormous difference to people who need and deserve help.

I thank the right reverend Prelate in particular for taking part. He is a living example of the danger of finding oneself sitting opposite me at lunch. We started a conversation about something quite different. Once he had found out a bit about me and I had discovered about his personal experience, he very kindly altered his diary to be with us this afternoon. We are all enormously grateful to him for giving us his direct, personal experience.

This subject deeply affects a lot of people—often people you do not necessarily know have these issues. I was contacted this afternoon by an adoptive parent who works down the other end for quite a well-known opposition MP. She called me today to say, “I think there is a debate today. Is that true?” I said yes, and asked her, “Is there anything you would like me to say?” She simply said, “What I would like you to say is that if it hadn’t been for the fund, my family would have had adoption breakdown. I think we would have lost our child, and we might well have lost our marriage.” One can have no better celebration of the fund’s success than that. With that, I wish everybody a therapeutic Recess.

Motion agreed.