Memorandum from the Children's Society - Introduction

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:45 pm ar 21 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

The Children's Society broadly welcomes the new Adoption and Children Bill. It is a major step forward in the development of an adoption service built upon the wealth of experience and research in this area that has grown since implementation of the Adoption Act 1976 and that aims to meet the needs of children as a priority. We fully support the stated aim of this Bill to align adoption law with the relevant provisions of the Children Act 1989 to ensure that the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration in all decisions relating to adoption and other permanency options.

The Children's Society submitted written evidence to the Special Select Committee on the Adoption & Children Bill in March 2001 and are pleased to have the opportunity to present both written and oral evidence to the Special Standing Committee on this new bill. This memorandum draws the committee's attention to our concerns about new provisions within the bill and to a number of areas that have not changed that still leave us with cause for concern, which we raised in earlier evidence. This memorandum also welcomes improvements to the Bill.

We have approached this Bill as any other proposed legislative or public policy change with regard to the rights of children and young people. We further believe very strongly that adoption is a lifelong process and are fully supportive of the statement in clause 1 (2):

``The paramount consideration of the court or adoption agency must be the child's welfare throughout his life''.

Our practice base and substantial research in this area with both children being adopted and adopted adults and their families means that we have an informed and well-rounded view of the experiences of adopted people throughout their lives. It is on this basis that we make our evidence to the Committee.