Clause 64 - Status conferred by adoption

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 6 December 2001.

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Photo of Julian Brazier Julian Brazier Opposition Whip (Commons) 9:30, 6 December 2001

I, too, welcome you to the Chair, Mr. Hood.

We do not want to spend a lot of time on a small drafting point. None the less, my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Norfolk made an eloquent case for improving it. I am grateful for the support of the hon. Member for Lancaster and Wyre (Mr. Dawson).

I want to add one small parallel. My hon. Friend the Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton) expressed concern about other pieces of legislation being used to justify the wording of the clause, and I suspect that the Parliamentary Secretary will touch on that. A similar justification was employed for about a generation for the use of the word ''defective'' to describe people with learning difficulties. That phrase was grossly offensive. The wording in the clause is not as offensive, but it is unnecessary, as my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Norfolk said. It is a little piece of fiction that we could do without. I look forward to the Parliamentary Secretary replying constructively.