Overseas adoption plans are set out

The government has published a consultation
document on plans for intercountry adoption aimed at improving
safeguards for children.

The document on the implementation of the
Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act 1999 includes draft regulations
to be made under the act for England and Wales and draft supporting
guidance. Councils and voluntary adoption agencies dealing with
intercountry adoption will have to comply with the regulations when
they come into force next year.

Health minister Jacqui Smith said: “The
publication of this consultation document is an important step
forward in our work to ensure that intercountry adoption only takes
place where the same safeguards as for domestic adoptions have been
applied,” she added.

The act will allow the UK to ratify the 1993
Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation over
Intercountry Adoption.

“These measures will also help to make sure
that a consistent service is provided to those who wish to adopt
overseas and that they are helped to navigate the often complex
procedures,” said Smith.

The deadline for comments on the guidance is
13 February 2002. Separate consultations will shortly be made for
Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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