Theresa May didn’t say paedophiles should be allowed to adopt children

28 February 2019
What was claimed

Theresa May said sex offenders including paedophiles should be allowed to adopt.

Our verdict

She never said this. An academic wrote an article saying this when Theresa May was Home Secretary.

An image claiming that Theresa May said sex offenders, including paedophiles, should be allowed to adopt, has had several hundred shares on Facebook.

It’s not true. In 2010, an academic wrote in a law journal that the rules stopping sex offenders from adopting should be relaxed. This was reported in the Telegraph, with the headline: “Sex offenders including paedophiles should be allowed to adopt, Theresa May told”. This is identical to the wording that is used in the image, with the exception of the word “told” which has been left out—changing the meaning entirely.

At the same time, a government review was looking into the Vetting and Barring Scheme (which aimed to prevent “unsuitable people” working with children). But the rules around adoption did not change—sex offenders cannot adopt children.

In response to the academic’s article, a Home Office spokesman told the Telegraph “It is safe to say that the vetting review will not be considering allowing paedophiles to adopt.” In 2016, a petition to “forbid Theresa May to allow paedophiles and sex offenders to adopt” was submitted to parliament.

It was rejected because “It's already the case that sex offenders and child sex offenders are not allowed to adopt children. We're not sure what else you want the Government to do.”

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