Clause 113 - Restriction on advertisements etc.

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:45 am ar 15 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 11:45, 15 Ionawr 2002

I was drawing the Committee's attention to subsection (2), which clearly spells out which advertisements are restricted. I suspect that the programme did not contravene the proposed conditions that

''(a) the parent or guardian of a child wants the child to be adopted,

(b) a person wants to adopt a child,

(c) a person other than an adoption agency is willing to take any step mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e), (g) and (h) and (so far as relating to those paragraphs) (i) of section 88(2), or

(d) a person is willing to remove a child from the United Kingdom for the purposes of adoption.''

However, it is inevitable, as the hon. Gentleman pointed out, that such programmes will draw interest in adoption. That is not necessarily a bad thing. What is important is that the safeguards are in place. We have discussed at length the intercountry provisions to be applied in the interests of the children, were such a programme to prompt someone to consider adoption. It is unlikely that the clause would catch the programme that he mentioned, but programmes that broadcast explicit details about children who are available for adoption should do so only on behalf of or with an adoption agency.

You made clear your views on Romania, Mrs. Roe, so I shall say only that I shall respond to the hon. Gentleman's parliamentary question on the issue with a little more information about the Romanian Government.

The hon. Gentleman is right that it is difficult to control the provision of information over the internet, and, as in the other areas that he mentioned, there are limits on what we can do. However, there are clear steps that the Government can and will take to avoid the problems that I mentioned. An internet service provider in the United Kingdom that hosts a website containing illicit information can be penalised if it fails to block access to that website once it has been notified of the problem. We therefore have a clear power as regards internet service providers that host websites in this country.

If the host internet service provider is based outside our jurisdiction, we will press it to close access to the illicit website or ask the authorities in that country to

take action. We will have no powers under the Bill to block access at the source or through a UK conduit internet service provider. However, my colleagues in the Department of Trade and Industry will soon consult on regulations to implement the e-commerce directive, which explicitly promotes co-operation between member states to meet the ends that we are discussing. Codes of practice may well give us the scope to ensure that we achieve our objectives as regards the internet. With that clarification, I hope that hon. Members will feel able to support clause 113.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 113, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 114 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 106 ordered to stand part of the Bill.