Remaining Questions

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

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There were certain other matters that we found puzzling or unclear:

Clause 14 (1) and Clause 128: How is the Minister to discover a lack of compliance on the part of Local Authorities? Of course he will have reports on performance from the SSI but beyond that how will lesser degrees of a failure in duty, or individual cases, become known to him? It is unlikely that the LAs will themselves point any out.

Clause 53 to 62: If information is to be withheld regarding a person's origins, how is it possible to comply with Clause 71?

Clause 64: An adopted person must be seen as part of his new family legally of course but the use of the phrase as if the `person had been born as a child of the marriage' is odd and—to some—objectionable. An adopted person has his own particular history which, even if it is awful, should not and cannot be obliterated by a parliamentary act. Would it not be possible to simply say `as a child of the marriage'.

Also, how does this sit with Clause 68 which does recognise the blood-line?

Clause 67: what reason could there be for adopting her own child?

Clause 115: are the adoption registers open to either approved adopters seeking a child (as with the publications advertising adoptable children), or open to waiting children who are old enough to do so knowingly?

We would like to thank the Special Standing Committee for taking the trouble to read our submission. We hope very much that it has been of use. If you would like further information, we would be delighted to try to assist.