Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Adoption and Children Bill. Report stage

    Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): The hon. Gentleman said he wanted an evidenced-based approach, and that there was evidence that the present legal status deterred unmarried couples from adopting. What is that evidence? It is referred to in a letter from the British Agencies for Adopting and Fostering. When I asked the BAAF what the evidence was, it said that actually it had none.

    Dr. Harris: It certainly does have evidence. I believe the evidence was gathered during national adoption week, when the BAAF recorded the reasons why people who had thought about adopting were put off. I do not want to take up the House‘s time, because I am sure others with expertise will deal with the right hon. Gentleman‘s point, but I think there is no doubt that as there are many unmarried couples who would like to adopt as couples, the Bill, if unamended, will put them off.