§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he will give for the longest and most convenient period of time the number of children allowed to enter Great Britain from overseas countries where these children were adopted either in Great Britain, their country of birth or the country from which the adoption took place; and what action is taken to stop this practice being used as a means of evading the Immigration Rules;
(2) what are the rules for British-born and resident subjects and immigrants with regard to adopting children in foreign countries; whether he is aware that some people are using this method to overcome the Immigration Acts; and as there are large numbers of homeless children in Great Britain in need of adoption, if he will take some action to prevent this practice.
§ Dr. Summerskill
The statutory recognition in this country of overseas adoptions is governed by the Adoption Act 1968 and the order made under it. The Immigration Rules make no provision for children overseas to enter this country for adoption here. Children under the age of 18 are, subject to certain conditions, admitted to join their parents settled here, but the Immigration Rules require that, where the parents are adoptive, there should have been a genuine transfer of parental responsibility on the grounds of the original parents' inability to care for the child, and further that the adoption was not one of convenience arranged to facilitate the child's admission. These requirements are strictly enforced and each case is considered individually.
The number of adopted children accepted for settlement on arrival to join their parents is not separately identifiable within the total number of children so accepted.