Part 1 – Adoption
9.Part 1 makes provision for the adoption of children and is divided into 7 chapters. Chapter 1 requires the provision of adoption services by local authorities. Local authorities may use “registered adoption services” i.e. voluntary organisations to provide these services. “Adoption services” are defined in section 1 of the Act and those persons who may receive them are listed in subsection (3) of that section.
10.Chapter 1 also provides the Scottish Ministers with the power to make regulations relating to the provision of adoption services by both local authorities and registered adoption services. The Scottish Ministers may also issue guidance in relation to the assessment of needs and local authorities are obliged to have regard to this. This Chapter also enables local authorities to make payments in lieu of adoption support services.
11.Chapter 2 sets out the adoption process, including the conditions that must be met before an application for an adoption may be granted, the categories of person that are eligible to make an application for an adoption order, restrictions on removing children who have been placed with prospective adopters, and the legal effect of adoption orders. The Chapter also provides for information about adoptions to be kept by adoption agencies and the disclosure of such information.
12.Chapter 3 makes provision for the legal status of adopted children.
13.Chapter 4 provides for adoption support plans, which will be used to detail the specific adoption support services to which people will have access after an assessment of needs has been made under section 9
14.Chapter 5 relates to the registration of adoption orders. It requires the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland to continue to maintain the Adopted Children Register and makes provision for linking records in that register with records in the register of births.
15.Chapter 6 makes provision in respect of adoptions with a foreign element. It places restrictions on the adoption of children from outside the United Kingdom and on the adoption of children from the United Kingdom outwith this country, and gives the Scottish Ministers the power to charge for processing casework for certain types of adoption with a foreign element.
16.Chapter 7 relates to miscellaneous issues, including adoption allowances schemes, restrictions as to who may arrange adoptions or place children for adoption, and provides for the effect of certain orders and the placing of children for adoption under the Adoption and Children Act 2002.