For the first time during its inquiry, the Lords Select Committee on Adoption Legislation will hear from groups representing the birth families of children who are adopted or in care, on Tuesday 13 November.
The Committee will question representatives from the following groups, all of whom are members of the Kinship Care Alliance:
- Cathy Ashley, CEO, Family Rights Group;
- Bridget Lindley, Deputy CEO and principal legal advisor, Family Rights Group;
- Sarah Wellard, Policy and Research Manager, Grandparents Plus; and
- Natasha Finlayson, CEO, The Who Cares? Trust.
The witnesses are expected to tell the Committee about their members’ experiences of the adoption process and will be quizzed on issues including:
- whether the right balance exists between the rights of the child and the rights of the birth family;
- tensions between birth families’ desire to remain in contact with the child and the best interests of the child itself; and
- whether social workers try too hard – or not hard enough – to keep families together.
Before this, the Committee will hear from Martha Cover, Association of Lawyers for Children and Ian Bugg, Family Law Bar Association, who will be questioned on the Government’s legislative proposals to remove barriers to interracial adoption, which were published on Wednesday 7th November.
The evidence sessions will begin at 10.15am on Tuesday 13 November in Committee Room 1.
The birth family group’s session will begin at approximately 11.15am.
The evidence session is also open to the public and of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at www.parliamentlive.tv. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.