Clause 61 - Other provision to be made by regulations

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:30 pm ar 10 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 4:30, 10 Ionawr 2002

I am sure that hon. Members will remember that the problem with access to information was that in the case of birth records it was possible for birth parents to object to information being made available to enable people to access their birth records. As we have discussed today, the changes that the Government have subsequently made mean that new clauses 7 and 8 now spell out that such disclosure cannot be objected to. The adopted person has a right to the information required to access their birth record. Only in exceptional circumstances would the adoption agency refer the matter to the High Court.

Previously, the references to object'' in the clause related only to access to birth records. All hon. Members have agreed that we should change the provisions on that, and the Government have done so. The effect of that change is to remove the need for the regulations to require clarification of the nature of the objection. It does not undermine the points that I made in response to the earlier debate about how consent will be sought, what the safeguards are around

that consent, or the nature of the discretion, such as it is, surrounding decisions following the granting of such consent. The system for all identifying information apart from birth records is now based on the idea of seeking consent. It is therefore no longer appropriate to have parts relating to a capacity to object'', because that no longer appears in the rest of the legislation.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 213, in page 34, line 34, leave out from 'which' to end of line.

No. 214, in page 34, leave out lines 36 to 38.

No. 215, in page 34, line 43, leave out 'object' and insert 'give their views as'.

No. 216, in page 34, line 45, leave out paragraph (b).

No. 217, in page 35, line 14, after '58', insert

'[Disclosing protected information about adults] or [Disclosing protected information about children]'.

No. 209, in page 35, line 15, leave out 'or 59'.—[Jacqui Smith.]