Today’s Queen’s Speech marks the opening of the new legislative session in Parliament with the announcement of 38 laws to be passed over the coming year. They include several potential opportunities for adopted people and adopters, but there are also risks.

The Education Bill builds on government proposals set out in March in the Education White Paper. Adopters consistently report education as their top concern. Adoption UK has urged greater support for relationships, mental health and SEND in order to address barriers to school attendance, instead of the punitive crackdown on persistent absence being proposed by the government.

After many years campaigning on the issue of parental leave and pay entitlements for self employed adopters, it is disappointing that plans for an Employment Bill appear to have been dropped. Originally announced in 2019, this potential Bill promised to give flexible working rights and would have been an opportunity for policymakers to equalise parental pay for all adopters.

Also of note, the Online Safety Bill will dominate the legislative agenda and could be an opportunity to provide greater protection for vulnerable children. The Mental Health Bill, which promises to overhaul the mental health system in England and Wales, is a vital opportunity to improve the future for children who have had a difficult start in life.