Clause 62 - Interpretation

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:45 pm ar 10 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 4:45, 10 Ionawr 2002

On the subject of fees, Opposition Members have made the case for voluntary adoption agencies, and I have spelled out the relationships between the adoption agency and the Registrar-General, and the individual—who will not be charged fees—and the adoption agency.

The Registrar-General is a creation of statute, and the exercise of functions must recover the costs of providing information. Therefore, he must have the power to charge adoption agencies for information. Provided that he has that power, he will be able to exercise discretion about to whom fees may apply. I agree with hon. Gentlemen's points about the important role of voluntary adoption agencies, and I am sure that they will be considered when decisions are made about charges. The Registrar-General does not currently charge adopted people for information, but charges them and birth parents for registration on the contact register. Those fees are £15 and £30 respectively and are subject to review by the Secretary of State.

The hon. Member for North-West Norfolk raised a broad question. The crux of it was whether the Scottish Parliament would need to consider separate adoption legislation. The power of Scottish Ministers and the Northern Ireland Department of Health is to make regulations, which are secondary legislation subject to the procedures of the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly

It being Five o'clock, The Chairman, proceeded, pursuant to Sessional Order D [28 June 2001], and the Order of the Committee [27 November 2001], to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Amendment agreed to.

The Chairman then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that time.

Clause 62, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.