New clause 13 - Provision of information relating to adoption

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:30 pm ar 17 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 4:30, 17 Ionawr 2002

The new clause proposes pretty strong guidance. It is clear both to health authorities and to private sector clinics that carry out abortions that counselling should include the provision of advice and information about all the possible alternatives to termination, including adoption. Adoption should be raised as an option when pregnant teenagers under 18 seek advice from their GP or pregnancy advisers. Professionals should once again provide all the information on sources of advice and counselling. Each top-tier local authority area has a teenage pregnancy co-ordinator, and they are required to ensure that a directory or service guide is provided for pregnant teenagers under 18. This guide must list sources of advice on future options, such as keeping the baby, adoption or abortion. Family doctors, the sexual health service and pregnancy advisers are provided with an advice checklist, which also includes the option of adoption.

In the light of those comments, and given the sensitivities on this issue, I hope that I can assure hon. Members that there will clarity in the information that must be provided to expectant mothers and others, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will feel able to withdraw his new clause.