Scots bill to make care more flexible

Proposals to introduce new permanence orders, which give courts more flexibility in allocating parental responsibility for looked after children, have been published by the Scottish executive.

The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill would introduce the new orders to replace the existing freeing and parental responsibilities orders, which transfer parental responsibility from birth parents to the local authority.

Permanence orders will allow the courts to allocate responsibility between the council, foster carers and birth parents and are meant to introduce greater stability and flexibility for children who are not adopted.

The bill would also allow joint adoption by unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, and introduce a local authority duty to provide adoption support services.

Baaf Adoption and Fostering proposed the introduction of permanence orders last year and welcomed the bill, saying it could transform the lives of hundreds of children.

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