Clause 41 - Child to live with adopters before application

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:45 pm ar 29 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 2:45, 29 Tachwedd 2001

This is not about forcing anyone to do anything. I shall come to why important differences in agency placements make it reasonable to apply a shorter period to them than to non-agency placements.

In something as significant as adoption, it is in the interests of the child's welfare to ensure that the child and applicant have had a proper opportunity to establish a relationship such as to justify the making of an application to adopt. That is particularly important in non-agency cases, in which there are none of the safeguards of placement through an adoption agency. The longer period that applies to non-agency cases will, therefore, be in the interests of the child's welfare.

For placements through an adoption agency, the agency adoption panel will have approved adoption as being in the child's best interests after thoroughly examining the issue. The prospective adopters will have been rigorously assessed, and the match between the child and the adopters will have been carefully considered. None of those safeguards are in place in non-agency cases. That is why the difference between agency and non-agency placements is important.