Support for new adoptive parents to be debated by MPs
17 March 2022
On Monday 21 March, MPs will debate a petition relating to support for new adoptive parents.
- Watch the debate (from 6pm, Monday 21 March)
- Read the debate transcript (available shortly after the conclusion of the debate)
- Follow the Committee on Twitter and join the discussion using #AdoptionSupportDebate
Elliot Colburn MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked by the Committee to open the debate. MPs from all parties can take part, and Paul Scully MP, a minister from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will respond for the Government.
Ahead of the debate, the Committee asked petitioners about their experiences of adopting a child and the impact it has had on their working life. Our key findings included:
- Just 13% of self-employed adoptive parents agreed that they were able to take the time off they needed to settle and care for their child, compared to 65% of other adoptive parents
- 95% of self-employed adoptive parents agreed that more financial support would have allowed them to take the time off work they would have liked
The debate follows the publication of the Government’s response to the Petitions Committee’s follow-up report on the Impact of Covid-19 on new parents. In its response, the Government rejected the Committee’s recommendation that entitlements to employment leave and financial support for new parents be extended to groups that currently don’t have access to these, including self-employed adoptive parents.
Make self-employed people eligible for statutory adoption pay
The petition, which has more than 14,000 signatures, states: “Ensuring statutory adoption pay is available to a self-employed parent in the same way that maternity allowance is available for self-employed new mums would promote an equal and fair society inclusive of all routes to parenthood.”
In response to the petition, provided on 2 February 2022, the Government said: “The Government has no plans to extend adoption pay to self-employed adopters. Local Authorities can make discretionary payments to self-employed adopters who do not qualify for adoption pay.”
What are petitions debates?
Petitions debates are 'general' debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.