Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Nineteenth Report


23 JUNE 1999

By the Select Committee appointed to report whether the provisions of any bill inappropriately delegate legislative power, or whether they subject the exercise of legislative power to an inappropriate degree of parliamentary scrutiny; to report on documents laid before Parliament under section 3(3) of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 and on draft orders laid under section 1(4) of that Act; and to perform, in respect of such documents and orders, the functions performed in respect of other instruments by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.



1.  This private member's bill has been brought from the Commons. The bill makes provision for giving effect to the Convention concluded at the Hague on 29 May 1993 on intercountry adoption (relevant provisions of the Convention are set out in Schedule 1 to the bill).

2.  Clause 1(1) provides for regulations to give effect to the Convention and subsection (3) sets out the scope of the regulations which are made subject to negative procedure by subsection (4). The Committee considers that this provides for the appropriate degree of parliamentary control.

3.  Clause 1(5) extends all existing powers to make subordinate legislation about adoption to allow provision to be made for giving effect to the Convention. The existing legislation will continue to specify the Parliamentary control which is to apply.

4.  Clause 3 substitutes a new section 17 in the Adoption Act 1976 (and in the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978). Under this section an adoption order is a Convention adoption order if it complies with requirements prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State. Under the 1976 Act (and the 1978 Act) regulations are subject to negative procedure, which the Committee considers appropriate.

5.  Clause 14 inserts a new section in the 1976 and 1978 Acts. Under this section it is an offence to bring a child into the UK for the purpose of adoption unless requirements prescribed by regulations are satisfied. The Acts make the regulations subject to negative procedure.

6.  There is a simple commencement power in clause 18(3).


7.  There is nothing in the bill which the Committee wishes to draw to the attention of the House.

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