Claims by MP John Hemming that there is a “massive social experiment in forced adoption” in the UK have been rejected in parliament.
In a debate on family law this week, justice minister Bridget Prentice told the House of Commons there was “no coherent evidence” to support the “odious claims surrounding so-called forced adoptions”.
Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham, Yardley, had used the debate to put forward claims about the law being “systematically undermined” in family courts, and of incompetent and corrupt social workers, lawyers, experts or judges forcing through the adoption of children against the wishes of their parents.
However, Prentice told the Commons: “Instead of ranting, we should take a comprehensive, considered and objective view of what we can do to make life better for vulnerable children.”
She added: “I do not believe that there is systematic corruption and unprofessionalism throughout the social services, local authorities, the courts or elsewhere.”
Prentice said Hemming’s claims, that “honest, skilled and hard-working professionals would seek to cause children to be adopted unnecessarily” were “unacceptable”.
Hemming, who chairs the Justice for Families campaign, used the debate to raise a number of individual cases he has been involved with.
However, he claimed MPs could do nothing “to stop social workers who lie to the courts because they want to win a case and hit their adoption targets, or to stop doctors who provide rubbishy, unproven and unchallenged medical evidence that destroys families, but fills their bank accounts”.