HC Deb 17 November 1966 vol 736 c624
32. Mrs. Knight

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now consider introducing legislation to limit the period after which children can be removed from their foster parents by their natural parents.

Miss Bacon

No, Sir. I am writing to the hon. Lady about the safeguards already provided for the welfare of children in such cases.

Mrs. Knight

Is not the right hon. Lady aware that under the present regulations many unscrupulous parents leave their children throughout the entire growing-up years with foster parents, only taking an interest in them again when they become 15 and are earning? In the circumstances, this occasions great distress to foster parents and children alike.

Miss Bacon

Yes; I recognise that and I have done everything I can to urge upon local authorities the necessity of taking advantage of powers that they already have, because certain powers already exist. For example, local authorities may assume parental rights if the parent has abandoned the child or is unfit to have the care of the child for various reasons. I should like to see more local authorities taking advantage of the powers that they have.