After section 9

Part of Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:15 am on 7th December 2006.

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Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party 10:15 am, 7th December 2006

The SNP values the role that faith-based agencies play in adoption, and the Education Committee was extremely impressed at stage 1 by their contribution. All parties—including Lord James, Elaine Murray, Kenneth Macintosh and others—agreed that the bill will not prevent faith-based agencies from referring people on. Why would we include in the bill something that is not necessary? We have an assurance from the minister that the faith-based agencies will continue to be able to refer people on. It is right for them to be able to refer on those people whom they cannot help.

There is another argument about the philosophy and the approach of the bill, which puts the rights of the child first. Indeed, the only rights in the bill are the rights of children. That reflects the history of children's policy and the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, which put the rights of children first. To put the rights of adoption agencies or the rights of adoptees—