House of Commons - Explanatory Note
Adoption and Children Bill - continued          House of Commons

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310.     The majority of the measures in the Bill will have no impact on business or the voluntary sector. The Bill's impact on the voluntary sector will be limited to the 32 voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) in England and Wales. The main impact on VAAs will stem from three of the new policy areas - the independent review mechanism, the new measures to promote consistency of access to information held by adoption agencies and the Adoption and Children Act Register. The measures in the Bill requiring adoption support agencies to register with the registration authority under Part 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000 will be the only provisions to affect profit-making businesses. These new measures will impact on post-adoption support centres and independent counsellors providing adoption support services. At present there are six post-adoption support centres and up to an estimated 100 independent counsellors providing adoption-related counselling across England and Wales.

311.     The Regulatory Impact Assessment on the Adoption and Children Bill can be obtained in the library of the House or on the Department of Health website at and sets out the impact of each of the four policy areas mentioned above in more detail. However, none of these measures will place a significant additional burden on the business or voluntary sectors. Benefits will be seen in the overall improvement in the quality of services provided to those affected by adoption and in the increase in the number of adoptions, thereby helping to counterbalance any additional cost implications.


312.     Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of the Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement, before second reading, about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the convention rights (as defined by Section 1 of that Act). Mr Secretary Milburn has made the following statement:

"In my view the provisions of the Adoption and Children Bill are compatible with the Convention rights."


Acts referred to in the Adoption and Children Bill

Perjury Act 1911 (c.6)

Marriage Act 1949 (c.76)

Adoption Act 1950 (14 Geo 6 c.5)

Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 (c.20)

Registration Service Act 1953 (c.37)

Sexual Offences Act 1956 (c.69)

Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Special Provisions) Act 1957 (c.58)

Adoption Act 1958 ( 7 & 8 Eliz 2 c.5)

Legitimacy Act 1959 (c.73)

Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965 (c.49)

Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 (c.46)

Family Law Reform Act 1969 (c.46)

Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 (c.42)

Immigration Act 1971 (c.77)

Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972/1265 (N.I. 14))

Local Government Act 1972 (c.70)

Children Act 1975 (c.72)

Births and Deaths Registration (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 (S.I. 1976/1041 (N.I.14))

Legitimacy Act 1976 (c.31)

Adoption Act 1976 (c.36)

Criminal Law Act 1977 (c.45)

National Health Service Act 1977 (c.49)

Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates' Courts Act 1978 (c.22)

Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 (c.28)

Interpretation Act 1978 (c.30)

Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I. 1979/1714 (N.I. 19))

Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c.43)

British Nationality Act 1981 (c.61)

Insurance Companies Act 1982 (c.50)

Mental Health Act 1983 (c.20)

Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983 (c.41)

County Courts Act 1984 (c.28)

Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (c.42)

Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 (c.60)

Family Law Act 1986 (c.55)

Child Abduction Act 1984 (c.37)

Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (S.I. 1987/3303 (N.I.22))

Family Law Reform Act 1987 (c.42)

Children Act 1989 (c.41)

National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 (c.19)

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (c.37)

Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c.41)

Child Support Act 1991 (c.48)

Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 (c.19)

Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c.39)

Health Authorities Act 1995 (c.17)

Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (c.36)

Criminal Law (Consolidation)(Scotland) Act 1995 (c.39)

Family Law Act 1996 (c.27)

Housing Act 1996 (c.52)

Education Act 1996 (c.56)

Police Act 1997 (c.50)

National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/672)

Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act 1999 (c.18)

Access to Justice Act 1999 (c.22)

Care Standards Act 2000 (c.14)

Local Government Act 2000 (c.22)

Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c.43)

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Prepared: 19 October 2001