Select Committee on Select Committee on the Adoption and Children Bill Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Ad.O.P.T

  Having read over the Adoption and Children Bill we would like to highlight the following concerns.


  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 47—again more information to be contained and given to adopters.

  Section 48—we 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 decision—not the other way round.


  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 66—There 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 adopters—totally inadequate.


  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.

May 2001

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