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Education and Adoption Bill published

The Education and Adoption Bill has been published. The Bill, as introduced, can be read here. The first reading was on the 3rd June. The second reading is on a date to be announced.

In respect of adoption, the Bill will give the Secretary of State a new power to direct one or more named local authorities to make arrangements for any or all of their adoption functions to be carried out on their behalf by one of the local authorities named or by another agency. In practice, this means that the Secretary of State can direct a number of local authorities to have adoption functions carried out on their behalf in order to create regional adoption agencies.

The secretary of State, when directing local authorities, will be able to list which adoption functions the arrangements should relate to. The functions which can be specified in a direction are functions in relation to: the recruitment, assessment and approval of prospective adopters; decisions about which prospective adopters a child should be matched with; and the provision of adoption support services.