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The Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Restrictions on removal where applicant has provided home for 5 years

29.—(1) While an application for an adoption order in respect of a child made by the person with whom the child has had his home for the 5 years preceding the application is pending, no person is entitled, against the will of the applicant, to remove the child from the applicant’s actual custody except with the leave of the court or under authority conferred by any enactment or on the arrest of the child.

(2) Where a person (“the prospective adopter”) gives notice to the Board within whose area he has his home that he intends to apply for an adoption order in respect of a child who for the preceding 5 years has had his home with the prospective adopter, no person is entitled, against the will of the prospective adopter, to remove the child from the prospective adopter’s actual custody, except with the leave of a court or under authority conferred by any enactment or on the arrest of the child, before—

(a)the prospective adopter applies for the adoption order, or

(b)the period of 3 months from the receipt of the notice by the Board expires,

whichever occurs first.

(3) In any case where paragraph (1) or (2) applies and—

(a)the child was in the care of a Board before he began to have his home with the applicant or, as the case may be, the prospective adopter, and

(b)the child remains in the care of the Board,

the Board shall not remove the child from the actual custody of the applicant or of the prospective adopter except in accordance with Article 31 or 32 or with the leave of a court.

(4) In paragraphs (2) and (3) “a court” means a court with jurisdiction to make adoption orders.

(5) A Board which receives such notice as is mentioned in paragraph (2) in respect of a child whom the Board knows to be in the care of another Board or of a voluntary organisation shall, not more than 7 days after the receipt of the notice, inform that other Board or the organisation, in writing, that it has received the notice.

(6) Paragraph (2) does not apply to any further notice served by the prospective adopter on any Board in respect of the same child during the period referred to in sub-paragraph (b) of that paragraph or within 28 days after its expiry.

(7) Any person who contravenes paragraph (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

(8) The Department may by order made subject to affirmative resolution amend paragraph (1) or (2) to substitute for the period of 5 years mentioned in that paragraph such other period as may be specified in the order.

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