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Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

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CHAPTER IVN.I.PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS IN INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION

Article 14N.I.

Persons habitually resident in a Contracting State, who wish to adopt a child habitually resident in another Contracting State, shall apply to the Central Authority in the State of their habitual residence.

Article 15N.I.

1.  If the Central Authority of the receiving State is satisfied that the applicants are eligible and suited to adopt, it shall prepare a report including information about their identity, eligibility and suitability to adopt, background, family and medical history, social environment, reasons for adoption, ability to undertake an intercountry adoption, as well as the characteristics of the children for whom they would be qualified to care.N.I.

2.  It shall transmit the report to the Central Authority of the State of origin.N.I.

Article 16N.I.

1.  If the Central Authority of the State of origin is satisfied that the child is adoptable, it shall—N.I.

(a)prepare a report including information about his or her identity, adoptability, background, social environment, family history, medical history including that of the child's family, and any special needs of the child;

(b)give due consideration to the child's upbringing and to his or her ethnic, religious and cultural background;

(c)ensure that consents have been obtained in accordance with Article 4; and

(d)determine, on the basis in particular of the reports relating to the child and the prospective adoptive parents, whether the envisaged placement is in the best interests of the child.

2.  It shall transmit to the Central Authority of the receiving State its report on the child, proof that the necessary consents have been obtained and the reasons for its determination on the placement, taking care not to reveal the identity of the mother and the father if, in the State of origin, these identities may not be disclosed.N.I.

Article 17N.I.

Any decision in the State of origin that a child should be entrusted to prospective adoptive parents may only be made if—

(a)the Central Authority of that State has ensured that the prospective adoptive parents agree;

(b)the Central Authority of the receiving State has approved such decision, where such approval is required by the law of that State or by the Central Authority of the State of origin;

(c)the Central Authorities of both States have agreed that the adoption may proceed; and

(d)it has been determined, in accordance with Article 5, that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt and that the child is or will be authorised to enter and reside permanently in the receiving State.

Article 18N.I.

The Central Authorities of both States shall take all necessary steps to obtain permission for the child to leave the State of origin and to enter and reside permanently in the receiving State.

Article 19N.I.

1.  The transfer of the child to the receiving State may only be carried out if the requirements of Article 17 have been satisfied.N.I.

2.  The Central Authorities of both States shall ensure that this transfer takes place in secure and appropriate circumstances and, if possible, in the company of the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents.N.I.

3.  If the transfer of the child does not take place, the reports referred to in Articles 15 and 16 are to be sent back to the authorities who forwarded them.N.I.

Article 20N.I.

The Central Authorities shall keep each other informed about the adoption process and the measures taken to complete it, as well as about the progress of the placement if a probationary period is required.

Article 21N.I.

1.  Where the adoption is to take place after the transfer of the child to the receiving State and it appears to the Central Authority of that State that the continued placement of the child with the prospective adoptive parents is not in the child's best interests, such Central Authority shall take the measures necessary to protect the child, in particular—N.I.

(a)to cause the child to be withdrawn from the prospective adoptive parents and to arrange temporary care;

(b)in consultation with the Central Authority of the State of origin, to arrange without delay a new placement of the child with a view to adoption or, if this is not appropriate, to arrange alternative long-term care; an adoption shall not take place until the Central Authority of the State of origin has been duly informed concerning the new prospective adoptive parents;

(c)as a last resort, to arrange the return of the child, if his or her interests so require.

2.  Having regard in particular to the age and degree of maturity of the child, he or she shall be consulted and, where appropriate, his or her consent obtained in relation to measures to be taken under this Article.N.I.

Article 22N.I.

1.  The functions of a Central Authority under this Chapter may be performed by public authorities or by bodies accredited under Chapter III, to the extent permitted by the law of its State.N.I.

2.  Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that the functions of the Central Authority under Articles 15 to 21 may be performed in that State, to the extent permitted by the law and subject to the supervision of the competent authorities of that State, also by bodies or persons who—N.I.

(a)meet the requirements of integrity, professional competence, experience and accountability of that State; and

(b)are qualified by their ethical standards and by training or experience to work in the field of intercountry adoption.

3.  A Contracting State which makes the declaration provided for in paragraph 2 shall keep the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law informed of the names and addresses of these bodies and persons.N.I.

4.  Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that adoptions of children habitually resident in its territory may only take place if the functions of the Central Authorities are performed in accordance with paragraph 2.N.I.

5.  Notwithstanding any declaration made under paragraph 2, the reports provided for in Articles 15 and 16 shall, in every case, be prepared under the responsibility of the Central Authority or other authorities or bodies in accordance with paragraph 1.N.I.

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