Clause 92 - Excepted payments

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 15 January 2002.

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Photo of Robert Walter Robert Walter Conservative, North Dorset 11:15, 15 January 2002

Again, I wish to probe the Minister a little. The clause suggests that other payments can be made to a registered adoption society by a parent, guardian or person who proposes to adopt a child. I remind the Minister of clause 11, which relates to fees and about which we had extensive discussions. I even proposed a couple of amendments to it. It states that

''Regulations under section 9 may prescribe . . . the fees which may be charged by adoption agencies in respect of the''

various provisions.

I wonder whether, under clause 92, the Secretary of State would also prescribe the excepted payments and some scale for them. If there is not some national scale or prescription, we leave the door open for adoption agencies to skirt around the law and tell prospective adoptive parents that a payment is excepted, and that they must write out the cheque as the matter is not covered elsewhere in legislation. Will the Minister state specifically what the excepted payments are, and whether a published scale will be available to those who are likely to be charged them?