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Volume 210: debated on Thursday 25 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health which other countries have signed the agreement with the Romanian adoption committee; how many children have been adopted under the terms of the agreement; and what steps she has taken to satisfy herself that the agreement is working satisfactorily.

I understand from the Romanian Committee for Adoptions that as of 1 June 1992, the following countries have signed an agreement with it.

FinlandUnited Kingdom
FranceUnited States of America
No children have been adopted by prospective adopters in the United Kingdom under the new arrangements. The first tranche of five applications is currently being processed. We shall continue to review the working of the agreement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress she is making with the review of responses to the consultation paper on inter-country adoption; and if she will make a statement.

Responses to the four consultation documents, including inter-country adoption, were considered by the interdepartmental working group as part of its work in reviewing adoption law. We have received a copy of the working group's report which we are now studying.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding is being provided for the new overseas adoption helpline project; what arrangements are being made to provide independent management for the project; and what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the arrangements to publicise this project to all those with a potential interest.

A grant of approximately £43,000 has been awarded to the overseas adoption helpline for a period of six months in the first instance. The project is hosted by the Bridge Child Care Consultancy. A project board has been set up whose functions include the provision of independent professional advice. We shall be making arrangements for publicity shortly.