Examination of Witnesses - Memorandum from the Department of Health - KEY CHANGES

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am ar 20 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

1. The Adoption and Children Bill was previously introduced to Parliament on 15 March 2001. It was referred to a Select Committee which held three public hearings and received evidence from adoption stakeholders and members of the public. The Bill fell at the dissolution of Parliament.

2. This paper sets out the substantive policy changes and additions incorporated in the version of the Bill introduced on 19 October. These fall into six main areas:

—adoption support—a widening of the assessment provisions and the introduction of new registration provisions;

—the placement provisions—changes to placement orders, in particular bringing them into closer alignment with the Children Act 1989;

—access to information about a person's adoption—where the Bill sets out new proposals in this area;

—intercountry adoption—the Bill incorporates new controls developed following the Government's review of the legislative framework earlier this year;

—special guardianship—the introduction of new provisions covering support services for these placements;

—devolution—the Bill now incorporates a range of measures in respect of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

3. Several of these changes have been made in response to evidence submitted to the Select Committee. In addition to the major policy changes highlighted, there have been a large number of drafting improvements to the Bill.