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 Robert Brown Robert Brown Liberal Democrat 10:30 am, 7th December 2006

Peter Peacock and I made it clear to the Education Committee and the Parliament that the Scottish ministers want faith-based adoption agencies to continue their work, which is a valuable additional service to the services that local authorities and others offer. Indeed, I want faith-based adoption agencies to find more adoptive parents, to provide services to a range of adults and children, and to appeal to their faith-based communities to secure more adoptive parents who can meet all the stringent requirements of the adoption process and can give good homes to children who need them. That is the central point that we should bear in mind.

Ministers have consistently made it clear that nothing in the bill will alter the position or practices of Roman Catholic adoption agencies. In practice, if an adoption agency thinks that it is unable to assist a child or prospective adopter, it should refer them to another adoption agency that could provide the necessary service and support. That is the current practice of adoption agencies.