Lords may block Adoption Bill

An amendment to the Adoption and Children Bill
that would allow unmarried couples to adopt children may face
difficulties in the House of Lords, Felicity Collier, chief
executive of Baaf Adoption and Fostering, warned.

amendment, tabled by former social worker David Hinchliffe, would
allow unmarried couples, including same sex couples, to jointly
adopt children. Currently unmarried couples can adopt, but only one
person in the couple has the legal status of adoptive

Collier said she believed the
fact that only one adult would have this legal responsibility for
the child would discourage people from adopting. “We can’t afford
to lose potential adopters,” she said.

Collier raised other concerns
Baaf has with the bill, such as the threshold for dispensing with
parental consent. She said that placement and placement order
provisions are often over-complicated. There was no statutory duty
to provide adoption support in line with assessed needs. She said
there was also no retrospective access to information for birth
parents and relatives, which meant ageing mothers, desperate to
find their children, are not helped.

bill is expected to go before the Lords next month.


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