Clause 84 - Modification of section 64 for convention adoptions

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 11 December 2001.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 11:30, 11 December 2001

The Minister has alluded to subsection (2)(b). The subject with which it deals is both one to which we might return later and one that we might have touched on earlier had the knife of the programming motion had not come down. Will the Minister consider article 4(c)(2) of the convention, under which

''such persons, institutions and authorities have given their consent freely, in the required legal form, and expressed or evidenced in writing,''.

Will the Minister give the Committee her definition of the term ''freely''? The giving of consent is a bone of contention in UK adoptions, let alone in the more complicated overseas ones, and various bodies have made representations to us to ask what ''freely'' amounts to. A person who is seen to be giving consent freely might later claim that it was given under duress. Is the Minister satisfied that there will not be a challenge to the term ''freely'' as used in article 4 of the convention and subsection (2) of the clause?