Clause 82 - Restriction on taking children out

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 11 December 2001.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) 11:00, 11 December 2001

You are right to bring us up short, Mr. Stevenson.

I hope that I have made the argument for ''Commonwealth citizen'' being necessary to protect British citizens who would not otherwise be considered habitually resident. I have also explained why the provision continues measures in the 1976 Act and why the Government consider it reasonable to provide the protection in the clause to Commonwealth citizens, given the historical links between the UK and the Commonwealth. For a range of reasons such as medical treatment or schooling, such children could be in the UK and need its protection.

I hope that I have also reassured the Committee that the clause is about restrictions on the removal of children for adoption. It does not have some of the effects on convention adoptions that the hon. Gentleman suggested, so I hope that he will feel able to withdraw his amendment.