HC Deb 25 January 1945 vol 407 c973
71. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Pensions if he will give his reasons for his Department's objection, in principle, to legal adoption as a method of providing for the future of a war orphan.

Sir W. Womersley

I have no general objection to the legal adoption of war orphans. At the present time most of the children who have lost both parents are with relatives who have naturally proved to be the most suitable guardians and have no wish to part with the children. For this reason the number available for adoption falls far short of the number of people who are anxious to have them. Moreover, I cannot overlook the fact that serious issues are involved both for the adopting parents and for the child, and I do not give positive support to any proposed adoption until an adequate period of trial has shown that the arrangement is likely to be permanently satisfactory on both sides. This necessary test presents some special difficulties under war conditions, but where I have been satisfied after a reasonable period that adoption was for the child's permanent benefit, I have agreed to it. I am glad to say that in this comparatively small number of cases the results promise to be entirely successful.