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1. A Contracting State shall designate a Central Authority to discharge the duties which are imposed by the Convention upon such authorities.N.I.
2. Federal States, States with more than one system of law or States having autonomous territorial units shall be free to appoint more than one Central Authority and to specify the territorial or personal extent of their functions. Where a State has appointed more than one Central Authority, it shall designate the Central Authority to which any communication may be addressed for transmission to the appropriate Central Authority within that State.N.I.
1. Central Authorities shall co-operate with each other and promote co-operation amongst the competent authorities in their States to protect children and to achieve the other objects of the Convention.N.I.
2. They shall take directly all appropriate measures to—N.I.
(a)provide information as to the laws of their States concerning adoption and other general information, such as statistics and standard forms;
(b)keep one another informed about the operation of the Convention and, as far as possible, eliminate any obstacles to its application.
Central Authorities shall take, directly or through public authorities, all appropriate measures to prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with an adoption and to deter all practices contrary to the objects of the Convention.
Central Authorities shall take, directly or through public authorities or other bodies duly accredited in their State, all appropriate measures, in particular to—
(a)collect, preserve and exchange information about the situation of the child and the prospective adoptive parents, so far as is necessary to complete the adoption;
(b)facilitate, follow and expedite proceedings with a view to obtaining the adoption;
(c)promote the development of adoption counselling and post-adoption services in their States;
(d)provide each other with general evaluation reports about experience with intercountry adoption;
(e)reply, in so far as is permitted by the law of their State, to justified requests from other Central Authorities or public authorities for information about a particular adoption situation.
Accreditation shall only be granted to and maintained by bodies demonstrating their competence to carry out properly the tasks with which they may be entrusted.
An accredited body shall—
(a)pursue only non-profit objectives according to such conditions and within such limits as may be established by the competent authorities of the State of accreditation;
(b)be directed and staffed by persons qualified by their ethical standards and by training or experience to work in the field of intercountry adoption; and
(c)be subject to supervision by competent authorities of that State as to its composition, operation and financial situation.
A body accredited in one Contracting State may act in another Contracting State only if the competent authorities of both States have authorised it to do so.
The designation of the Central Authorities and, where appropriate, the extent of their functions, as well as the names and addresses of the accredited bodies shall be communicated by each Contracting State to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
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