Clauses 9 and 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill. - Clause 11 - Fees

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 18 December 2001.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 11:00, 18 December 2001

That is why it is important, as I have said, that the regulations stipulate what can and cannot be charged for in relation to intercountry adoption. We must recognise that it is not unreasonable for local authorities to prioritise—by not charging people for domestic adoption—the important adoptions out of care. Intercountry adoption is important too; it plays a valuable role. However, the financial decisions made by local authorities in assessing those people involved in intercountry adoption are different from those that they make for domestic adopters of children out of care.

The hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton) made the point about cross-boundary adoptive placements, and the concern raised by the case cited last week by the hon. Member for Canterbury. We made it clear last week that we shall make regulations under clause 4(7)(i) to prescribe the funding arrangements for the provision of adoption support services where a child is placed with an adoptive family living in a different local authority area. The requirement that all adoption agencies provide adoption support services will help to overcome the difficulties that have occurred when children have been placed under local authorities that do not have appropriate arrangements for adoption support.

The hon. Gentleman's third point related to inter-agency fees. There was a slight contradiction—