Results 561–580 of 823 for speaker:Robert Walter

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention and look forward to hearing about the more detailed representations that have been received. I refer the Committee also to the minutes of evidence taken by the Select Committee on the Adoption and Children Bill—this Bill's predecessor—in April. The subject was discussed at that time.

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: The hon. Gentleman misunderstands the purpose of the amendment. We want a clauses that states that an adoption agency must give due consideration to a child's background, but does not have a prescriptive list of items of background to which the agency must, by law, refer. The items in subsection (5) are not especially relevant to many of the children who come forward for adoption. Of course,...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I am not sure that it would. I do not want to go into my personal situation, but circumcision has taken place in British society for some time, and often has nothing to do with religious background.

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention, which will help me to answer him. It was horrendous that older children who came from religious backgrounds were placed in children's homes of a different faith in Australia. The crux—and the real horror—was the forcible removal of children by the authorities here with the connivance of those in Australia and their shipment to the other...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I can probably answer the question. The children involved the tens of thousands of cases that occurred ranged from as young as three or four-year-olds to those in their early teens. There is one point that I want to bring home and then I would like to move on because I think that the hon. Member for Chatham and Aylesford makes some valid points. I have no doubt that we will discuss those...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: When I finish my point I will be happy to give way to the hon. Lady. The crux of the issue is whether the factors are relevant to very young children or to older children. I believe that they are relevant to older children. They should have been taken into account in the case of the child migrants, but no one was taking anything into account at that stage; it was simply that money was...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I beg to move amendment No. 1, in page 2, line 14, leave out— `religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural'.

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: Amendment No. 1 is probing, and we want to use it to examine some important aspects of the Bill. There are several typographical errors on page 31 of the amendment paper. I appear to be called ``Mr. Mr.'' all the way through. There is also a slight error in the manuscript amendment that I submitted to the clerks. My original manuscript said that I would leave out ``religious persuasion,...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: The hon. Lady points outs that ``the child's age, sex, background and any of the child's characteristics which the court or agency considers relevant'' is in subsection (4)(d), but subsection (5) says ``In placing the child for adoption, the adoption agency must give due consideration to the child's religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background.'' The two...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I thank the hon. Lady for pointing that out, but I remain concerned that on the face of the Bill it says that when placing a child for adoption ``the adoption agency must give due consideration'' to those factors, which are, in the case of younger children, too prescriptive. I want nothing to appear on the face of the Bill that might delay the adoption procedure for children to whom those...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I am interested in the Minster's line of argument against the amendment. My hon. Friend's amendment would amend the provision that ``The court or adoption agency must have regard to . . . the child's ascertainable wishes and feelings''. Is it not therefore reasonable, in considering such ascertainable wishes and feelings, that the court should question whether an older child is agreeable to...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Clause 1 - Considerations applying to the exercise of powers (27 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I rise in support of the amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Norfolk. The objection to it is that it forces the court to say that delay would be ``bound'' to prejudice the child's welfare and that that is somehow restrictive. Anyone who feels that that is the case should read the clause in its entirety with ``bound'' substituted for ``likely''. The operative phrase...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Examination of Witnesses (21 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: The Chairman mentioned this morning our inquiries relating to a particular group of adoptees, who were child migrants. I am looking at the Government's response to our suggestion that they should help people to trace their roots by assisting them to confirm their identity so far as possible from available records—name, date of birth, address at birth, identifying sending agencies and so on....

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Examination of Witnesses (21 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I, too, was slightly disturbed when I read the Fostering Network's submission and I am delighted that its representatives have backtracked on it. I am still concerned about the line that they appear to be taking to meet what is in the Bill. I have two questions: the first concerns the sheer practicality of the procedure whereby the parent of a child approaching 18 is still in the loop with...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Examination of Witnesses (21 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: So you would not want change? You propose a compromise? Sue Gourvish: Yes, I emphasise that.

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Examination of Witnesses (21 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: There are two issues; adoption by unmarried couples and adoption by same-sex couples. In the instances that you referred to, are we talking about male or female same-sex relationships?

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Examination of Witnesses (21 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: Can you envisage circumstances where you would entertain male same-sex relationships, or where such relationships would provide any benefit to children?

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Examination of Witnesses (21 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: My question is really directed to both Professor Jackson and Professor Triseliotis, but I shall start with Professor Triseliotis. On the question of access to birth records, do you think that birth parents should have the right to protect their identity from adopted children and others if they so wish?

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Examination of Witnesses (21 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: The Chairman and I are well aware of ``Empty Cradles'', because we conducted an inquiry into the matter for the House of Commons. However, I wish to pursue the point and get an answer from both of you. Is a compromise possible between the Government's position and the view that you have expressed whereby the birth parents could agree that the adoptees would have access to birth records but...

Public Bill Committee: Adoption and Children Bill: Examination of Witnesses (21 Nov 2001)

Robert Walter: I want to pose the question again in respect of inter-country adoptions, where there are difficulties because of the distances involved. Mr. Hinchliffe, you and I took part in an inquiry three years ago on the largest living cohort of intercountry adoptees, the child migrants to Australia, who spent many years trying to trace their roots. Should we consider providing more assistance to those...


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