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Adoption law changes to have 'significant' impact

Rebecca Brahde

  • Role,BBC Isle of Man

  • 4 June 2024

If approved the Adoption Act 2021 would come into effect in July

New laws streamlining the adoption process will have a "significant and really positive" affect on families going through the process, the health minister has said.

Regulations relating to the Adoption Act 2021 will go before Tynwald this month and if approved come into effect in July.

The regulations aim to speed up the decision-making and process of adoption, which is currently governed by legislation from 1984, and provide ongoing support once the child is settled into their adoptive family.

Health and Social Care Minister Lawrie Hooper said the new laws would make the process more "focused", but would "ultimately put the needs of that child absolutely at the heart of everything".

Nine regulations will go before Tynwald's June sitting

While the updated legislation received Royal Assent in October 2021, the Department for Health and Social Care has since been developing underlying regulations, with nine orders set to go before Tynwald - six of which require approval.

The regulations would see the introduction of the adoption support fund and support services, which aim to provide ongoing assistance once the child has settled with their new family, including circumstances when they need therapy after adverse experiences.

Mr Hooper said that would ensure that "once you have gone through the process you are not just let go by the system".

The regulations would also introduce an independent review mechanism enabling decisions by Manx Care to be challenged to make the process more "robust and transparent".

A key aim had been to "speed up the process to make sure children are spending less time in the system", Mr Hooper said.

If they did not know "what the future holds" for a long time it could have "serious implications for them", he continued.

"It will be a big shift in the way we do things, but it is going to have a significant and really positive effect on those small numbers of people who are either adopting or being adopted," Mr Hooper added.

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