Lords debates adoption report

15 May 2013

Following its publication earlier this year, the House of Lords will debate its report on adoption legislation on Thursday 16 May.

The Committee was established specifically to consider the statute law on adoption. In its final report the Committee recommended that there should be a legal obligation to provide adopters and adopted children with post-adoption support; increased adoptions of children from care should not be delivered at the expense of other routes to permanence; more should be done to monitor rates of adoption breakdown, and that the training and supervision of social workers should be improved to help them to understand the importance of robust and early decision-making about children’s future care, especially for very young children.

The Chairman of the Committee, Baroness Butler-Sloss (Crossbench), in whose name the debate has been tabled, will speak first.

“During our inquiry we heard from a wide range of witnesses including adoption agencies, social workers, groups representing birth families and adopted children themselves. These opinions helped shaped our report and our recommendations. It was clear to us that although the Government is dedicated to improving the adoption process, there is more that needs to be done to ensure the best outcomes for all children in care.

“Intervening early to keep birth families together where possible; seeking the right permanence solution for every child taken into care; providing post-adoption support to families who have adopted a child from care, and monitoring the outcomes of adoption, especially of adoption breakdown, are all significant recommendations made to the Government by the Committee. We realise that implementing them will take time, commitment and money.  But in an age of austerity, we need to make sure that every penny spent on keeping children safe and providing them with loving and caring homes, including by means of adoption, is money well spent. 

The timing of this debate is crucial – it takes place in the context of the Children and Families Bill which is before parliament at the moment and which contains some important provisions on adoption.”

Other Members scheduled to speak in the debate include:

Viscount Eccles (Conservative), Baroness King of Bow (Labour), Baroness Hamwee (Liberal Democrat) and Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (Labour) are also expected to take part.

Lord Nash (Conservative) will respond on behalf of the Government.

The debate is open to media and the public. Please allow time for security screening.

The debate will also be broadcast live on Parliament TV.

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