After section 9

Part of Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:30 am on 7th December 2006.

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Photo of Hugh Henry Hugh Henry Labour 10:30 am, 7th December 2006

As Robert Brown said, the Executive is neutral on the issue. However, I hope that I can clarify several matters that have been raised. [ Interruption. ] I will attempt to do so as an ordinary member. Indeed, I have the right to do so.

It has been suggested that the national care standards should not apply. Some people want them to be abolished. However, we must be clear that the debate is not about abolishing the national care standards—they will still exist and will ensure that what Michael McMahon's amendment 86 suggests should be done will be done. A slight difference is involved, however, with respect to the duty to refer people who cannot be assessed to another adoption agency. Michael McMahon has suggested that we should go further than the standards in saying that we should ensure that a person shall be referred to another agency. That addresses the point that Patrick Harvie made about it being right to refer people on.