§ [Nos. 30–39]
§ Clause 13, page 18, line 17, leave out subsections (1) to (5) and insert—
§ ("(1) Where, on an application by an adoption agency, an uthorized court is satisfied in the case of each parent or guardian of the child that—
- (a) he freely, and with full understanding of what is involved, agreed generally and unconditionally to the making of an adoption order, or
- (b) his agreement to the making of an adoption order should be dispensed with on a ground specified in section 11(2),
§ (2) No application shall be made under sub section (1) unless—
- (a) it is made with the consent of a parent or guardian of the child, or
- (b) the adoption agency is applying for dispensation under the subsection (1)(b) of the agreement of each parent or guardian of the child, and the child is in the care of the adoption agency.
§ (3) No agreement required under subsection (l)(a) shall be dispensed with under subsection (1)(b) unless the child is already placed for adoption or the court is satisfied that it is likely that the child will be placed for adoption.
§ (4) An agreement by the mother of the child is ineffective for the purposes of this section if given less than six weeks after the child's birth.
§ (5) An order under this section shall not be made in Scotland in relation to a child who is a minor unless with the consent of the child; except that where the court is satisfied that the minor is incapable of giving his consent to the making of the order, it may dispense with that consent".)
§ Page 9, line 20, leave out subsection (7).
§ Page 9, line 33, leave out ("subsection (1), (3) or (5)") and insert ("this section").
§ Page 9, line 34, leave out from ("itself") to ("has") in line 35 and insert ("that each parent or guardian who can be found").
§ Clause 14, page 10, line 39, at end insert ("as respects that former parent").
§ Clause 15, page 11, line 9, leave out subsection (3) and insert—
§ ("(3) Where an order freeing a child for adoption is revoked under this section—
- (a) the parental rights and duties relating to the child are vested in the individual or, as the case may be, the individuals in whom they vested immediately before that order was made;
- (b) if the parental rights and duties, or any of them, vested in a local authority or voluntary organisation immediately before the order freeing the child for adoption was made, those rights and duties are vested
823 in the individual or, as the case may be, the individuals in whom they vested immediately before they were vested in the authority or organisation and
- (c) any duty extinguished by virtue of section 6(3)(b) is forthwith revived, but the revocation does not affect any right or duty so far as it related to any period before the date of the revocation.").
§ Clause 15, page 11, line 13, at beginning insert ("subject to subsection (5)").
§ Clause 15, page 11, line 16, after ("parent"), insert ("who made the application").
§ Clause 15, page 11, line 20, at end insert ("as respects that parent.").
§ Clause 15, page 11, line 20, at end insert—
§ ("(5) Subsection (4)(a) shall not apply where the court which dismissed the application gives leave to the former parent to make a further application under subsection (1), but such leave shall not be given unless it appears to the court that because of the change in circumstances or for any other reason it is proper to allow the application to be made.")
§ 3.31 p.m.
§ Lord WELLS-PESTELL
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 30 to 39 en bloc. If your Lordships allow me to move those Amendments Nos. 30 to 39 perhaps I can discuss them with the consequential Amendment No. 72 to Clause 27, as they all relate to changes in Clause 13 dealing with the freeing procedure. They are largely technical, but there are some of some substance.
Amendment No. 30 changes the basic structure of Clause 13, removing any overlapping aspects of the original subsections (1) to (3). I am sorry that the noble Baroness, Lady Young, is not here because this was a point, if my memory serves me correctly, about which she was very concerned. In fact, she called attention to this in Committee. I hope your Lordships will agree that the Amendment is a considerable improvement. Amendment No. 31 deletes subsection (7), which was intended to promote the freeing procedure, but was opposed, especially in your Lordships' House, as putting unfair pressure on parents.
Amendment No. 39 was introduced to meet the feeling in another place that the Bill was too rigid in absolutely forbidding a second application for the revocation of a freeing order, when a previous application had been refused on the 824 grounds that revocation would be contrary to the welfare of the child. The Amendment allows for a further application but only with the leave of the court, which must not be given unless there is good reason for a further application. I hope your Lordships will agree that this makes the provision more flexible, but, although making it more flexible, maintains necessary safeguards for the welfare of the child. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments.—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.