HC Deb 29 March 1945 vol 409 c1512
13. Mr. Keelinģ

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he allows the adoption of war orphans not already in the care of relatives; how long is the waiting list of persons who wish to adopt them; and how many war orphans have been placed in public or charitable institutions.

Sir W. Womersley

I have no general objection to the legal adoption of war orphans, but in view of the serious issues involved for the adopting parents and the child I do not give my support to a proposed adoption until an adequate period of trial has shown that it is likely to be a practical success. If satisfied after a reasonable period that adoption would be for the child's permanent benefit, I have supported it. The waiting list of people anxious to adopt war orphans numbers just over 3,000. The number of war orphans under my control who have been placed in public or charitable institutions is seven, and in each instance there is some special reason why the child cannot be placed in a private home. There are, of course, some war orphans who are receiving the benefit of secondary education at one or other of the well-known charitable schools and spend their vacation with relatives or friends.

Mr. Keelinģ

Does that mean that persons on the waiting list are given a child for a probationary period, after which the question of adoption is considered?

Sir W. Womersley

Certainly. I think it is most essential that I should be thoroughly assured that the child will suit the foster parents, and that the foster parents will suit the child, before allowing adoption.

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