Clause 19 - Advance consent to adoption

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 29 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 10:30, 29 Tachwedd 2001

The Government believe that the Bill already provides what is needed in terms of giving notice in cases of advance consent. It is important to understand the difference between clause 18 and clause 19. The purpose of clause 19 is to allow, in the rare cases that arise, advance consent to be given to the making of the final adoption order at the same time as consent to placement. That will make provision for cases in which parents want to relinquish a child for adoption and not be further involved in the legal process. The arrangement will replace in part the freeing orders that can currently be used in situations in which parents consent to relinquishment.

Of course freeing orders can also be made against parents' wishes, but not under clause 19, in which the order is voluntary. It will be used solely in cases in which parents want to relinquish a child for adoption, hence the presumption that they will not want to be notified of the final adoption hearing. It is right that parents should be able to decide that they want to receive notice of the final adoption order hearing, and subsection (4) provides for that; if parents opt in, the provisions in clause 126(4)(c)(ii) apply and they should automatically receive notice. However, after giving their consent, they can decide at any point that they want to opt out of the notice, and they can subsequently opt back in again.