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Adoption by married couple

Amendments made: No. 151, in page 29, line 15, leave out "married".
No. 152, in page 29, line 16, leave out "spouses" and insert "of them".
No. 153, in page 29, line 17, leave out "married".
No. 154, in page 29, line 19, leave out "spouse" and insert "of the couple".
No. 155, in page 29, line 21, leave out "spouse".—[Mr. Hinchliffe.]

Clause 49

Adoption by one person

Amendments made: No. 156, in page 29, line 24, at end insert—

'(1A) An adoption order may be made on the application of one person who has attained the age of 21 years if the court is satisfied that the person is the partner of a parent of the person to be adopted'.
No. 157, in page 29, line 27, leave out paragraph (a).—[Mr. Hinchliffe.]

Mr. Lansley: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Can you confirm that further consequential amendments—amendment No. 158, new clause 13 and amendment No. 158(a), which is in the name of myself and my hon. Friend the Member for North Dorset (Mr. Walter) and would remove from this group of amendments the possibility for same-sex couples to adopt as a couple—will not be debated today but, according to the order of proceedings, on Monday evening?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Those amendments will not be debated on Monday but they will be voted on then.

Clause 41

Child to live with adopters before application

Amendments made: No. 212, in page 25, line 29, after "applicant" insert—

'or one of the applicants'.

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No. 213, in page 25, line 30, after "applicant" insert—

'or, as the case may be, applicants'.
No. 214, in page 25, line 44, leave out "afforded" and insert "given".—[Jim Fitzpatrick.]

Clause 43

Notice of intention to adopt

Amendments made: No. 215, in page 26, line 31, leave out "investigate" and insert—

'arrange for the investigation of'.
No. 216, in page 26, line 32, leave out "their" and insert "the".
No. 217, in page 27, line 4, after "are" insert—

'( ) in prescribed cases, references to the prescribed local authority,

( ) in any other case, references'.
No. 218, in page 27, line 5, at end insert—

'and "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations'.—[Jim Fitzpatrick.]

Clause 44

Adoption orders

Amendments made: No. 270, in page 27, line 15, after "Act" insert—

'the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 or the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995'.
No. 219, in page 27, line 32, at end insert—

'( ) Before making an adoption order, the court must consider whether there should be arrangements for allowing any person contact with the child; and for that purpose the court must consider any existing or proposed arrangements and obtain any views of the parties to the proceedings'.—[Jim Fitzpatrick.]

Clause 45

Conditions for making adoption orders

Amendments made: No. 220, in page 27, line 40, after "19" insert—

'(and has not withdrawn the consent)'.
No. 230, in page 28, line 23, leave out first "of" and insert "in".—[Jim Fitzpatrick.]

Clause 49

Adoption by one person

Amendments made: No. 221, in page 29, line 33, leave out subsection (3).
No. 232, in page 29, line 42, leave out from "child's" to end of line 43 and insert—

'being adopted by the applicant alone'.—[Jim Fitzpatrick.]

Clause 50

Parental etc. consent

Amendments made: No. 222, in page 30, line 22, leave out "freely".

16 May 2002 : Column 1009

No. 223, in page 30, line 28, leave out subsection (7) and insert—

'( ) Consent under section 18 or 19 must be given in the form prescribed by rules, and the rules may prescribe forms in which a person giving consent under any other provision of this Part may do so (if he wishes).

( ) Consent given under section 18 or 19 must be withdrawn—

(a) in the prescribed form, or

(b) by notice given to the agency'.—[Jim Fitzpatrick.]

Clause 51

Modification of 1989 Act in relation to adoption

Amendments made: No. 224, in page 30, line 40, at end insert—


( ) a child who has been placed for adoption by a local authority is less than six weeks old'.
No. 225, in page 31, line 6, at end insert—

'or a child who has been placed for adoption by a registered adoption society is less than six weeks old'.—[Jim Fitzpatrick.]

Clause 52

Disclosing information during adoption process

Tim Loughton: I beg to move amendment No. 8, in page 31, line 26, leave out "may" and insert "must".

Madam Deputy Speaker: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Government amendment No. 254.

Amendment No. 19, in clause 54, page 31, line 42, after "adoption", insert—

'which shall include all information necessary to fulfil the duty imposed by virtue of section [Disclosure of information regarding a person's adoption] (2),'.

Government amendments Nos. 49 to 52.

Amendment No. 147, in clause 59, page 33, line 37, at end insert—

'(7) The provisions in this section relating to access to protected information shall be applicable to any adopted person, regardless of whether the date of that person's adoption was before or after the coming into force of this Act.'.

Amendment No. 25, in page 33, line 37, at end insert—

'(7) This section shall apply to all adopted persons, whether adopted before or after the coming into force of this Act.'.

Government amendments Nos. 53 to 58.

New clause 1—Right to obtain information: adult siblings

'(1) Adult siblings by birth of adopted adults who have been adopted at any time from the enactment of the Adoption Act 1926 shall have the right to make an application to an adoption agency, as specified in regulations, to obtain the information under section 77 relating to his relative who was adopted.
(2) The agency shall make enquiries as necessary to establish the views of the adopted person concerning the disclosure of information to the relative.
(3) The information applied for shall be supplied by the agency to the applicant unless either—
(a) the adopted person has refused consent to the disclosure , or
(b) the agency obtains an order from the High Court which authorises the agency not to disclose the information requested.

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(4) The High Court may make an order on an application by the appropriate adoption agency, if satisfied that the circumstances are except61ional.'.

New clause 4—Disclosure of information regarding a person's adoption

'(1) This section shall apply only to an adopted person who has attained the age of 18 years.
(2) The appropriate adoption agency shall have a duty to inform an adopted person that he was adopted, subject to the regulations referred to in subsection (3).
(3) Regulations may prescribe—
(a) the method by which adoption agencies shall discharge the duty described in subsection (2), and
(b) any categories of adopted persons to whom the duty subscribed in subsection (2) shall not apply.'.

Tim Loughton: We now have all of 44 minutes in which to debate three important amendments and two new clauses tabled by myself and my right hon. and hon. Friends, together with a handful of Government amendments.

The amendments and new clauses in our name are on important subjects. They would provide full information to prospective adopters, giving rights of information to those involved—[Interruption.]

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. Would Members leaving the Chamber please do so quickly, and would others be a little quieter so that the hon. Gentleman can make his speech?

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