Adoptive parents successfully sought damages in the High Court from the local authority which had placed children with them for adoption. They alleged that the authority had failed to inform them of the extent of the difficulties of one of the children.
Source: A and B v Essex Council , EWHC 2707 (Queen's Bench Division/High Court), 18.12.02, Court Service (020 7210 2266)
Every prospective adopter in England will be allocated a key worker to support them through the adoption process, under draft regulations published by the government.
Source: The Draft Adoption Support Services (Local Authorities) (Transitory and Transitional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2003: Consultation Document, Department of Health (08701 555455)
The Adoption and Children Bill received Royal Assent. The new Act aligns adoption law with the Children Act 1989, to make the child's welfare the paramount consideration in all decisions to do with adoption. Despite earlier opposition in the House of Lords, the Act gives gays and unmarried couples the legal right to adopt for the first time.
Source: Adoption and Children Act 2002, TSO (0870 600 5522)
A joint report by MPs and peers said that amendments by the House of Lords to the Adoption and Children Bill probably contravene the rights of both unmarried and gay couples under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Source: Adoption and Children Bill: As Amended by the House of Lords on Report, Twenty-fourth Report (Session 2001-02), HL 177 and HC 979, Joint Committee on Human Rights (House of Lords and House of Commons), TSO (0870 600 5522)
See also: Journal of Social Policy Volume 31/2, Digest 122, paragraph 5.2
The government began consultation on the outcome of a review of the adopter assessment process and the operation of adoption panels, aimed at ensuring greater consistency in the assessment of prospective adopters.
Source: Adopter Preparation and Assessment and the Operation of Adoption Panels: A Fundamental Review, Department of Health (08701 555455)
See also: Journal of Social Policy Volume 30/3, Digest 119, paragraph 5.2
The government began consultation on new national minimum standards and regulations for adoption services run by voluntary agencies and local authorities.
Source: Adoption: National Minimum Standards/Regulations: Voluntary Adoption Agencies England and Wales: Consultation Document, Department of Health (08701 555455) | Adoption: National Minimum Standards/Regulations: Local Authority Adoption Services in England: Consultation Document, Department of Health
See also: Journal of Social Policy Volume 31/3, Digest 123, paragraph 5.2
There were 5,982 adoption orders in 2001 (England and Wales), compared to 4,942 in 2000 - the highest number since 1994.
Source: Marriage, Divorce and Adoption Statistics, 2000, Series FM2 28, Office for National Statistics, TSO (0870 600 5522)
See also: Journal of Social Policy Volume 31/1, Digest 121, paragraph 5.2
The government began consultation on plans to improve adoption support services in England.
Source: Providing Effective Adoption Support, Department of Health (08701 555455)
Links: Consultation document (pdf)
See also: Journal of Social Policy Volume 31/3, Digest 123 (paragraph 5.2)
An official report made recommendations for improving adoption services in Northern Ireland.
Source: Adopting Best Care: Inspection of Statutory Adoption Services in Northern Ireland, Social Services Inspectorate/Northern Ireland Executive (028 9052 0730)
Links: Report (pdf)