Call for government guidance on adoption files

Adoption agencies need government guidance on what information
they can give to people whose adoptions they have arranged, a
leading adoption body has urged.

The demand follows a bid in the high court by Linda Gunn-Russo
to force Nugent Care Society to reveal information about her
adoption in 1948 when she was two-years-old.

A British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering spokesperson told
Community Care: “Clear guidance is needed to help the
adoption agencies decide whether to reveal confidential information
about an adopted child’s birth family to adoptees. Currently
that decision is left to the discretion of the agency and there is
consequently much variation in practice.”

In 1999 the society refused Gunn-Russo’s request to see
the file containing information about her adoptive parents, the
Rogans, and her birth mother Elizabeth Gunn. She had had regular
contact with her natural mother and her natural father’s
family since she found out she was adopted in 1951. Both her
adoptive parents and natural parents have all died.

Gunn-Russo is challenging NCS’s decision and the
department of health’s refusal to review the society’s
ruling under the Human Rights Act. The high court judges are now
considering the case.






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