Suspension by the UK of Intercountry Adoptions

01 MAR 2006

Philip Cordery, Barrister, New Court Chambers, Newcastle upon Tyne. In February 2005, a draft Children (Contact) and Adoption Bill was introduced into the UK Parliament (see March [2005] Inetrnational Family Law 51). The introduction to the draft Bill confirms the Bills intention to provide a statutory framework for the suspension of intercountry adoptions from specified countries where there are public policy concerns about the process of intercountry adoption in that country, such as concerns about child trafficking. Part II (presently cls 914) of the Bill, if enacted, will expressly provide that the Secretary of State has power to impose restrictions on intercountry adoptions by British residents from a specified country. In R (Thomson and others) v Secretary of State for Education and Skills [2005] EWHC 1378 (Admin), [2006] 1 FLR 175, however, Munby J was quite clear that the Secretary of State already has powers to suspend overseas adoptions and that her exercise of such powers, in June 2004 in respect of intercountry adoptions from Cambodia, was lawful. See March [2006] International Family Law 39 for the full article.

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