The Adoption Agencies (Scotland) Regulations 2009: Scottish Government Response to Consultation

Consultation report on the Adoption Agencies (Scotland) Regulations

Regulation 20 - Duties of adoption agency following placement for adoption (now Regulation 25)

Question 25: Do Regulations 19 and 20 cover the requirements in full? If not, what else is required?

A number of responses suggested that paragraph (2)(b)(iv) of Regulation 19 should refer to "adoption support services" instead of "counselling services". With regard to Regulation 20, three respondents suggested that there should be some standardisation of the frequency of visits with one suggesting that since the child remains the responsibility of the local authority until the adoption order is made, there should be minimum requirements of visits within 1 week then at intervals of 1, 3 and 6 months after placement then every 6 months thereafter unless there are reasons to do otherwise. The other 2 respondents suggested a minimum of monthly visits as being reasonable.

Scottish Government response/action

The Regulation has been amended to include a reference to "adoption support services". We consider that the frequency of visits is a matter of best practice and will be covered in guidance.

Question 26: Should Regulation 19(5) be amended to ensure that non PRR parents receive automatic notification of the placement?

The majority of respondents agreed that non PRR parents should not receive automatic notification of the placement.

Scottish Government response/action

No change to Regulation required.

Question 27: Could Schedules 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 be simplified? If so, your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The majority of respondents felt that these Schedules could be simplified or written in plain English but did not offer any suggestions. One respondent referred to the statement "You will then have no further right to see your child, unless voluntary contact is agreed by the adopters" in paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 as not properly reflecting the fact that an adoption order may contain such terms and conditions as the court thinks fit.

Scottish Government response/action

No action required. As one of the respondents pointed out, it is difficult to make such documents legally competent whilst also keeping to plain English. Each Schedule, where appropriate, makes it clear that legal advice should be sought as the Schedule is intended for guidance only and should not to be regarded as an authoritative interpretation of the law.

With regard to the comment about paragraph 1 of Schedule 2, it is true that an adoption order may contain such terms and conditions as the court thinks fit. However, the courts have made it clear that conditions, including those relating to contact, should only be made in exceptional circumstances (e.g. BvC 1996, S. LT. 1370, 1996 S.C.L.R. 874).

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