Clause 83 - Overseas adoptions

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 11 December 2001.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 11:15, 11 December 2001

The hon. Gentleman appears to be concerned about the ability under the clause—and, presumably, under the corresponding subsection in clause 47, which puts the same definition on the recognition of an adoption order—for someone to undermine an adoption order made in the relevant circumstances. I am not entirely clear whether that is his objection.

The circumstances that we are discussing are those in which an adoption order is recognised as such. We should allow for circumstances in which the application to adopt starts before the child reaches the age of 18 but is not concluded by the time he reaches 18 and the order is made after his 18th birthday. If we do not define the recognition of an adoption order in the way proposed in the clause for intercountry adoption and in clause 47 for domestic adoption, we risk creating a situation in which, for what might be seen as the arbitrary reason that the child had reached 18—even though all the correct procedures had been followed and the adoption order made—it would be impossible for the adoption order to be recognised, with, as the hon. Gentleman mentioned, all the status implications that that would have for the adopted person.