HC Deb 13 February 1934 vol 285 cc1769-70W
Captain GUEST

asked the Minister of Health if he will take steps to alleviate the hardship to widows who, while their husbands were alive, legally adopted, before 1926, a child or children, so that practically they became their own children, but who, though themselves eligible for allowance under the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Pensions Contributory Acts, 1925 to 1932, by virtue of the insurance of their husbands, are not considered to have a claim for allowance for the child or children?


Legal adoption of children was not possible before 1st January, 1927, when the Adoption of Children Act took effect, but as from that date it was open to a married couple to legalise a de facto adoption previously made by them. Where advantage has been taken of that opportunity, an additional allowance under the Contributory Pensions Acts, subject to the satisfaction of the statutory conditions, becomes payable in respect of the child on the death of the adoptive father. I gather, therefore, that the suggestion of my hon. and gallant Friend relates to cases in which the opportunity of regularising the adoption was neglected, and I am afraid that I could not justify the introduction of legislation to give effect to that suggestion.