Clause 57: Disclosing Information to Adopters

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at on 21 November 2001.

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We are very concerned that this Clause suggests that information is given to adopters after the granting of an Adoption Order. We believe this could render certain placements unstable and lead to a vulnerability for the Agencies responsible for arranging those placements. In our experience, it is essential that full background information is provided to the adoptive pal GI,: J prior to the child being placed with them, as part of the information-gathering process which determines if the placement of that child is right for the child and the family. It is equally important that a detailed assessment has been made of the impact of the child's experiences upon them and a further assessment made as to how those life experiences may affect the child in placement, after the granting of the Adoption Order and into young adulthood.

In our experience of twenty years inter-Agency placements, it remains extremely difficult to secure such qualitative information to assist prospective adoptive parents to make informed decisions about the child/children they will parent. It also creates significant difficulties for prospective adoptive parents to understand the behaviour of their child/children placed with them and does not give them the necessary knowledge from which to avoid any 'triggers' of unhappy and frightening memories that children may associate with certain simple family activities.