Memorandum submitted by Ad.O.P.T
Having read over the Adoption and Children Bill
we would like to highlight the following concerns.
PART 1, CHAPTER
We would like to ensure that more information
is both recorded and passed with children placed for adoption.
There still seems to be a tendency to record the minimum amount
of information required.
Section 47again more information to be
contained and given to adopters.
Section 48we disagree with the use of
the word "may". This would be "will" as any
other word implies a discretion on the part of the agency. No
agency should have a discretion to withhold information on an
adopted adult from them. If necessary they should seek advise
of an independent panel or the courts to authorise this decisionnot
the other way round.
CHAPTER 4, SECTION
We feel the adoption Contact Register should
be operated by the Department of Health, in effect social workers
rather than civil servants.
We also seek a recommendation included to allow
a better service from the Contact Register. The scenario we use
is if an adopted adult decides to place their name on the register
seeking contact, while some years earlier their birth parent had
died, their expectation from the register is totally inappropriate
in the current climate of equality. The information regarding
the situation with their birth parents should be checked, at least
in the same form, or advised they should carry out some searches
with an approved agency/voluntary group before they place their
name on the register. For this reason the employment of a social
worker would be more appropriate to the circumstances staff may
find themselves in.
Section 66There should be provision for
inspection by Social Services Inspectorate, as part of the Adoption
process. The guidelines used by SSI are inadequate for this purpose,
and in fact do not provide for inspection of Post Adoption services
to anyone other than the adopterstotally inadequate.
CHAPTER 5, SECTION
This section should specify clearly (perhaps
by schedule) the nature of the information required to be brought
with every child relating to their birth records. There should
be a similar amount of information for these adoptees as there
would be for local adoptions at the very least.
We hope these suggestions are helpful. They
have been offered as a response taking into consideration as many
of our membership as possible. This includes members from across
the United Kingdom and further afield.