» Monday, January 29, 2007


Asked if the Prime Minister had any plans this week to meet with Catholic Archbishops to discuss the adoption issues, the PMOS replied that we had been in constant contact with all those involved. We understood the very real and genuine work that the Catholic adoption agencies did, especially with those children who were hard to place. As the head of the adoption council said last week, that was work that was not just measured in terms of getting someone adopted, but it was also about the aftercare that went on for quite some time afterwards. As the Prime Minister had said in his statement, that was part of the reason why we did want to find a way that did not disrupt that role.

Asked what the Prime Minister would say to members of the Scottish Executive who wanted Catholic adoption agencies to be able to opt out, and also what would he say to the Catholic adoption agencies in Scotland who were threatening to challenge the equality law, the PMOS said that with regards to the second part of the question, he did not want to get into a hypothetical situation. It was better to see what people did when they saw the result of the resolution. The Prime Minister had two key points last week. One was that there should not be discrimination. The second was that the way we went about showing that should not put at risk the long-term care for these children. It was precisely to get a resolution of those two points that the Prime Minister was making those efforts.

Put that David Cameron had talked about giving 5 years to Catholic agencies so they could work things out, and was that overlong, the PMOS replied that if people looked at what the head of British Adoption agencies had said last week, he did talk about a substantial period of time being necessary. This was because the work with the difficult to place children did not stop at the moment of adoption; it had to carry on to ensure that the adoption worked. There was an adjustment period, and with the difficult to place children, that could be over quite a substantial period, but he would not get involved in a discussion about how long that was.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

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