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The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

The Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (NI 22)

138.—(1) Article 2(2) (interpretation) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this paragraph.

(2) In the definition of “adoption agency” (which includes for the purposes of Articles 11 and 21 adoption agencies in England and Wales and Scotland), for the words “and 21” substitute “, 13, 17 to 22, 24 and 28 to 32”.

(3) For the definition of “adoption order” substitute the following definition—

“adoption order”—

(a)

means an order under Article 12(1);

(b)

in Articles 12(3) and (4), 17 to 20, 25(3), 28, 29 and 31 to 33 includes an order under section 12 of the Adoption Act 1976 or section 12 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 (adoption orders in England and Wales and Scotland);

(c)

in Articles 28, 29 and 31 to 33 includes an order under Article 57, section 55 of the Adoption Act 1976 or section 49 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 (adoption by persons domiciled outside Northern Ireland or England and Wales or Scotland);.

(4) For the definition of “guardian” substitute the following definition—

“guardian” has the same meaning as in the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;.

(5) For the definition of “order freeing a child for adoption” substitute the following definition—

“order freeing a child for adoption” means an order under Article 17(1) or 18(1) and in Articles 28(2) and 58A(1) includes an order under section 18 of the Adoption Act 1976 or section 18 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978;.

(6) For the definition of “the parental rights and duties” substitute the following definitions—

“parent” means, in relation to a child, any parent who has parental responsibility for the child under the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;

“parental responsibility” and “parental responsibility agreement” have the same meaning as in the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;.

(7) For the definition of “prescribed” substitute the following definition—

“prescribed” in Articles 4, 33 and 59 means prescribed by regulations made by the Department, in Articles 54 and 54A means prescribed by regulations made by the Department of Finance and Personnel and elsewhere means prescribed by adoption rules;.

(8) In the definition of “relative” omit “, where the child is illegitimate, the father of the child and” and for “the child were the legitimate child of his mother and father” substitute “Article 155 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 applied to this definition”.

(9) After the definition of “statutory provision” insert the following definition—

“upbringing” has the same meaning as in the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;.

139.—(1) In Article 2(3)—

(a)for “transferring the actual custody of a child to” substitute “placing a child with”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (b) for “transfer of the child to the actual custody of” substitute “placing of the child with”.

(2) After paragraph (3) add the following paragraphs—

(4) In this Order, in determining with what person, or where, a child has his home, any absence of the child at a hospital or at a school providing accommodation for him and any other temporary absence shall be disregarded.

(5) In this Order references to a child who is in the care of or looked after by a Board or HSS trust have the same meaning as in the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995..

140.—(1) In Article 12 (adoption orders), for paragraphs (1) to (3) substitute the following paragraphs—

(1) An adoption order is an order giving parental responsibility for a child to the adopters, and such an order may be made by an authorised court on the application of the adopters.

(2) The order does not affect parental responsibility so far as it relates to any period before the making of the order.

(3) The making of an adoption order operates to extinguish—

(a)the parental responsibility which any person has for the child immediately before the making of the order;

(b)any order of a court under the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;

(c)any duty arising by virtue of an agreement or the order of a court to make payments, so far as the payments are in respect of the child’s maintenance or upbringing for any period after the making of the order..

(2) In paragraph (4) for “(3)(b)” substitute “(3)(c)”.

141.  For Article 14 (adoption by married couple) substitute the following Article—

Adoption by married couple

14.(1) An adoption order shall not be made on the application of more than one person except in the circumstances specified in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) An adoption order may be made on the application of a married couple where both the husband and the wife have attained the age of 21 years.

(3) An adoption order may be made on the application of a married couple where—

(a)the husband or the wife—

(i)is the father or mother of the child; and

(ii)has attained the age of 18 years;

and

(b)his or her spouse has attained the age of 21 years.

(4) An adoption order shall not be made on the application of a married couple unless at least one of them is domiciled in a part of the United Kingdom, or in any of the Channel Islands or in the Isle of Man..

142.  In Article 16 (parental agreement)—

(a)in paragraph (2)(c), for “the parental duties in relation to” substitute “his parental responsibility for”;

(b)in paragraph (5), for “the rights and powers of a parent of” and “the exercise of parental rights in respect of” substitute in each case “parental responsibility for”.

143.—(1) In Article 17 (freeing child for adoption with parental agreement), for paragraph (1) substitute the following paragraph—

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), where, on the joint application of the parents or guardian of the child and an adoption agency, an authorised court is satisfied in the case of each parent or guardian that he freely, and with full understanding of what is involved, agrees—

(a)generally, and

(b)either unconditionally or subject only to a condition with respect to the religious persuasion in which the child is to be brought up,

to the making of an adoption order, the court shall make an order declaring the child free for adoption..

(2) For paragraph (3) (effect of order) substitute the following paragraph—

(3) On the making of an order under paragraph (1), parental responsibility for the child is given to the adoption agency, and paragraphs (2) to (4) of Article 12 shall apply as if the order were an adoption order and the agency were the adopters..

(3) For paragraph (6) substitute the following paragraphs—

(6) Before making an adoption order or an order under paragraph (1) in the case of a child whose father does not have parental responsibility for him, the court shall satisfy itself in relation to any person claiming to be the father that—

(a)he has no intention of applying for—

(i)an order under Article 7(1) of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, or

(ii)a residence order under Article 10 of that Order, or

(b)if he did make any such application, it would be likely to be refused.

(7) Paragraphs (5) and (7) of Article 12 shall apply in relation to the making of an order under this Article as they apply in relation to the making of an order under Article 12..

144.—(1) In Article 18 (freeing child for adoption without parental agreement), after paragraph (2) insert the following paragraph—

(2A) For the purposes of paragraph (2) a child is in the care of an adoption agency if the adoption agency is a Board or HSS trust and he is in its care..

(2) In paragraph (3) (application of provisions of Article 17), for “(5) and (6)” substitute “and (5) to (7)”.

145.  In Article 19(3) (progress reports to former parent), for “in which the parental rights and duties were vested” substitute “to which parental responsibility was given”.

146.—(1) In Article 20 (revocation of order freeing child for adoption), in paragraph (1), for “the parental rights and duties” substitute “parental responsibility for the child”.

(2) In paragraph (2), for “the parental rights and duties” substitute “parental responsibility”.

(3) For paragraph (3) (effect of revocation) substitute the following paragraphs—

(3) The revocation of an order under Article 17(1) or 18(1) (“a freeing order”) operates—

(a)to extinguish the parental responsibility given to the adoption agency under the freeing order;

(b)to give parental responsibility for the child to—

(i)the child’s mother; and

(ii)where the child’s father and mother were married to each other at the time of his birth, the father; and

(c)to revive—

(i)any parental responsibility agreement,

(ii)any order under Article 7(1) of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, and

(iii)any appointment of a guardian in respect of the child (whether made by a court or otherwise),

extinguished by the making of the freeing order.

(3A) Subject to paragraph (3)(c), the revocation does not—

(a)operate to revive—

(i)any order under the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, or

(ii)any duty referred to in Article 12(3)(c),

extinguished by the making of the freeing order; or

(b)affect any person’s parental responsibility so far as it relates to the period between the making of the freeing order and the date of revocation of that order..

147.  For Article 21 (transfer of parental rights and duties between adoption agencies) substitute the following Article—

Variation of order under Article 17(1) or 18(1) so as to substitute one adoption agency for another

21.(1) On an application to which this Article applies, an authorised court may vary an order under Article 17(1) or 18(1) so as to give parental responsibility for the child to another adoption agency (“the substitute agency”) in place of the agency for the time being having parental responsibility for the child under the order (“the existing agency”).

(2) This Article applies to any application made jointly by—

(a)the existing agency; and

(b)the would-be substitute agency.

(3) Where an order under Article 17(1) or 18(1) is varied under this Article, Article 19 shall apply as if the substitute agency had been given responsibility for the child on the making of the order..

148.—(1) In Article 22 (notification to Board or HSS trust of adoption application, where child not placed by adoption agency), after paragraph (1) insert the following paragraphs—

(1A) An application for such an adoption order shall not be made unless the person wishing to make the application has, within the period of two years preceding the making of the application, given notice as mentioned in paragraph (1).

(1B) In paragraphs (1) and (1A) the references to the area in which the applicant or person has his home are references to the area in which he has his home at the time of giving the notice..

(2) In paragraphs (4) and (5) for “in the care of” substitute “looked after by”.

149.  In Article 25 (restrictions on making adoption orders), for paragraph (3) (definition of “British adoption order”) substitute the following paragraph—

(3) In this Article “British adoption order” means—

(a)an adoption order or an order under the Adoption Act (Northern Ireland) 1967; or

(b)an order under any provision for the adoption of a child effected under the law of any of the following countries, that is to say, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and a colony, which is a British territory for the purposes of section 24 of the Adoption Act 1976..

150.  In Article 26(1) (interim orders) for “vesting the legal custody of the child in” substitute “giving parental responsibility for the child to”.

151.—(1) In Article 28 (restrictions on removal where adoption agreed or application made under Article 17(1) or 18(1)), in paragraphs (1) and (2) for “actual custody” substitute “home”.

(2) After paragraph (2) insert the following paragraph—

(2A) For the purposes of paragraph (2) a child is in the care of an adoption agency if the adoption agency is a Board or HSS trust and he is in its care..

152.—(1) In Article 29 (restrictions on removal where applicant has provided home for five years), in paragraphs (1) and (2) for “actual custody” substitute “home”.

(2) After paragraph (2) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(2A) In paragraphs (1) and (2) “any enactment” does not include Article 22(2) of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995..

(3) For paragraph (3) substitute the following paragraph—

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

(a)the child was being looked after by a Board or HSS trust before he began to have his home with the applicant or, as the case may be, the prospective adopter, and

(b)the child is still being looked after by the Board or HSS trust,

the Board or HSS trust shall not remove him from the home of the applicant or the prospective adopter except in accordance with Article 31 or 32 or with the leave of a court..

(4) In paragraph (5) for “in the care of an another Board or of an HSS trust or a voluntary organisation” substitute “looked after by another Board or an HSS trust or to be provided with accommodation by a voluntary organisation”.

(5) In paragraph (5A) for “in the care of another HSS trust or of a Board or voluntary organisation” substitute “looked after by another HSS trust or a Board or to be provided with accommodation by a voluntary organisation”.

153.  In Article 30 (return of child taken away in breach of Article 28 or 29), for paragraphs (1) and (2) substitute the following paragraphs—

(1) An authorised court may, on the application of a person from whose home a child has been removed in breach of—

(a)Article 28 or 29;

(b)section 27 or 28 of the Adoption Act 1976; or

(c)section 27 or 28 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978,

order the person who has so removed the child to return the child to the applicant.

(2) An authorised court may, on the application of a person who has reasonable grounds for believing that another person is intending to remove a child from his home in breach of—

(a)Article 28 or 29;

(b)section 27 or 28 of the Adoption Act 1976; or

(c)section 27 or 28 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978,

by order direct that other person not to remove the child from the applicant’s home in breach of any of those provisions..

154.—(1) In Article 31 (return of children placed for adoption by adoption agencies), in paragraph (1)—

(a)for “delivered into the actual custody of” substitute “placed with”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (a), for “retain the actual custody of the child” substitute “give the child a home”;

(c)in sub-paragraph (b), for “actual custody” substitute “home”.

(2) In paragraph (3), for “in his actual custody” substitute “with him”.

155.  For Article 32 (application of Article 31 where child not placed for adoption) substitute the following Article—

Application of Article 31 where child not placed for adoption

32.(1) Where a person serves a notice in pursuance of Article 22(1) on the Board or HSS trust within whose area he has his home of his intention to apply for an adoption order in respect of a child—

(a)who is (when the notice is given) being looked after by a Board or HSS trust; but

(b)who was placed with that person otherwise than in pursuance of such arrangements as are mentioned in Article 31(1),

Article 31 shall apply as if the child had been placed in pursuance of such arrangements, except that where the application is refused by the court or withdrawn the child need not be returned to the Board or HSS trust in whose care he is unless the Board or HSS trust so requires.

(2) Where notice of intention is served as described in paragraph (1) in respect of any child who is (when the notice is given) being looked after by a Board or HSS trust then, until the application for an adoption order has been made and disposed of, any right of the Board or HSS trust to require the child to be returned to it otherwise than in pursuance of Article 31 shall be suspended.

(3) While the child has his home with the person by whom the notice is served no contribution shall be payable (whether under a contribution order or otherwise) in respect of the child by any person liable under Articles 38 to 43 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 to make contributions in respect of him (but without prejudice to the recovery of any sum due at the time the notice is served), unless 12 weeks have elapsed since the service of the notice without the application being made or the application has been refused by the court or withdrawn.

(4) Nothing in this Article affects the right of any person who has parental responsibility for a child to remove him under Article 22(2) of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995..

156.—(1) In Article 33 (meaning of “protected child”), after paragraph (1) insert the following paragraph—

(1A) A child shall be deemed to be a protected child for the purposes of this Part if he is a protected child within the meaning of—

(a)section 32 of the Adoption Act 1976; or

(b)section 32 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978..

(2) In paragraph (2)(a), for heads (i) to (iii) substitute the following heads—

(i)any school in which he is receiving full-time education;

(ii)any children’s home or voluntary home;

(iii)any hospital;

(iv)any home or institution not specified in heads (i) to (iii) but provided by the Secretary of State, a government department or a prescribed public body; or.

(3) After paragraph (2) insert the following paragraph—

(2A) Paragraph (2)(a) shall be construed in accordance with Article 2(2) of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (interpretation)..

(4) For paragraph (3) substitute the following paragraphs—

(3) A protected child ceases to be a protected child—

(a)on the grant or refusal of the application for an adoption order;

(b)on the notification to the Board or HSS trust for the area where the child has his home that the application for an adoption order has been withdrawn;

(c)in a case where no application is made for an adoption order, on the expiry of the period of two years from the giving of the notice;

(d)on the making of a residence order, a care order or a supervision order under the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 in respect of the child;

(e)on the appointment of a guardian for him under that Order;

(f)on his attaining the age of 18 years; or

(g)on his marriage,

whichever first occurs.

(4) In paragraph (3)(d) the references to a care order and a supervision order do not include references to an interim care order or interim supervision order..

157.—(1) In Article 36 (notices and information to be given to Boards or Health and Social Services trusts), in paragraph (1) for “who has a protected child in his actual custody” substitute “with whom a protected child has his home”.

(2) In paragraph (2) for “in whose actual custody he was” substitute “with whom he had his home”.

158.—(1) In Article 54 (disclosure of birth records of adopted children), in paragraph (1) for “paragraphs (4) to (6)” substitute “the provisions of this Article”.

(2) For paragraphs (3) to (6) substitute the following paragraphs—

(3) Before supplying any information to an applicant under paragraph (1), the Registrar General shall inform the applicant that counselling services are available to him—

(a)if he is in Northern Ireland—

(i)from the Board or HSS trust in whose area he is living;

(ii)where the adoption order relating to him was made in Northern Ireland, from the Board or HSS trust in whose area the court which made the order sat; or

(iii)from any other Board or HSS trust;

(b)if he is in England and Wales—

(i)at the General Register Office;

(ii)from the local authority in whose area he is living;

(iii)where the adoption order relating to him was made in England and Wales, from the local authority in whose area the court which made the order sat; or

(iv)from any other local authority;

(c)if he is in Scotland—

(i)from the regional or islands council in whose area he is living;

(ii)where the adoption order relating to him was made in Scotland, from the council in whose area the court which made the order sat; or

(iii)from any other regional or islands council;

(d)if he is in the United Kingdom and his adoption was arranged by an adoption society—

(i)registered under Article 4; or

(ii)approved under section 3 of the Adoption Act 1976; or

(iii)approved under section 3 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978,

from that society.

(4) Where an adopted person who is in Northern Ireland—

(a)applies for information under—

(i)paragraph (1), or

(ii)section 51 of the Adoption Act 1976, or

(b)is supplied with information under section 45 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978,

it shall be the duty of any body mentioned in paragraph (5) to provide counselling for him if asked by him to do so.

(5) The bodies are—

(a)any Board or HSS trust; and

(b)any adoption society falling within paragraph (3)(d) in so far as it is acting as an adoption society in Northern Ireland.

(6) If the applicant chooses to receive counselling from a body falling within paragraph (3), the Registrar General shall send to the body the information to which the applicant is entitled under paragraph (1).

(7) Where a person—

(a)was adopted before 18th December 1987, and

(b)applies for information under paragraph (1),

the Registrar General shall not supply the information to him unless he has attended an interview with a counsellor arranged by a body from whom counselling services are available as mentioned in paragraph (3).

(8) Where the Registrar General is prevented by paragraph (7) from supplying information to a person who is not living in the United Kingdom, he may supply the information to any body which—

(a)the Registrar General is satisfied is suitable to provide counselling to that person, and

(b)has notified the Registrar General that it is prepared to provide such counselling..

159.  After Article 54 insert the following Article—

Adoption Contact Register

54A.(1) The Registrar General shall maintain at the General Register Office a register to be called the Adoption Contact Register.

(2) The register shall be in two parts—

(a)Part I: Adopted Persons; and

(b)Part II: Relatives.

(3) The Registrar General shall, on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, enter in Part I of the register the name and address of any adopted person who fulfils the conditions in paragraph (4) and who gives notice that he wishes to contact any relative of his.

(4) The conditions are that—

(a)a record of the adopted person’s birth is kept by the Registrar General; and

(b)the adopted person has attained the age of 18 years and—

(i)has been supplied by the Registrar General with information under Article 54; or

(ii)has satisfied the Registrar General that he has such information as is necessary to enable him to obtain a certified copy of the record of his birth.

(5) The Registrar General shall, on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, enter in Part II of the register the name and address of any person who fulfils the conditions in paragraph (6) and who gives notice that he wishes to contact an adopted person.

(6) The conditions are—

(a)that a record of the adopted person’s birth is kept by the Registrar General; and

(b)that the person giving notice under paragraph (5) has attained the age of 18 years and has satisfied the Registrar General that—

(i)he is a relative of the adopted person; and

(ii)he has such information as is necessary to enable him to obtain a certified copy of the record of the adopted person’s birth.

(7) The Registrar General shall, on receiving notice from any person named in an entry in the register that he wishes the entry to be cancelled, cancel the entry.

(8) Any notice given under this Article must be in such form as may be determined by the Registrar General.

(9) The Registrar General shall transmit to an adopted person whose name is entered in Part I of the register the name and address of any relative in respect of whom there is an entry in Part II of the register.

(10) Any entry cancelled under paragraph (7) ceases from the time of cancellation to be an entry for the purposes of paragraph (9).

(11) The register shall not be open to public inspection or search and the Registrar General shall not supply any person with information entered in the register (whether in an uncancelled or a cancelled entry) except in accordance with this Article.

(12) The register may be kept by means of a computer.

(13) In this Article—

(a)“relative” means any person (other than an adoptive relative) who is related to the adopted person by blood (including half-blood) or marriage; and

(b)“address” includes any address at or through which the person concerned may be contacted..

160.—(1) In Article 57 (adoption by persons domiciled outside Northern Ireland), for paragraph (1) substitute the following paragraph—

(1) Where on an application made in respect of a child by a person who is not domiciled in Northern Ireland or England and Wales or Scotland an authorised court is satisfied that he intends to adopt the child under the law of or within the country in which the applicant is domiciled, the court may, subject to the provisions of this Article, make an order giving him parental responsibility for the child..

(2) In paragraph (2) for “14(2)” substitute “14(4)”.

161.  In Article 58(1) (restriction on removal of children for adoption outside Northern Ireland)—

(a)after “Article 57” insert “, section 55 of the Adoption Act 1976 or section 49 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978”;

(b)for “transferring the actual custody of a child to” substitute “placing a child with”.

162.  After Article 58 insert the following Article—

Orders made in adoption proceedings outside Northern Ireland

58A.(1) Paragraphs (2) to (4) of Article 12 shall apply in relation to an order freeing a child for adoption (other than an order under Article 17(1) or 18(1)) as if it were an adoption order; and, on the revocation in England and Wales or Scotland of an order freeing a child for adoption, paragraphs (3) and (3A) of Article 20 shall apply as if the order had been revoked under that Article.

(2) Articles 12(3) and (4) and 49 shall apply in relation to a child who is the subject of an order which is similar to an order under Article 57 and is made in any part of Great Britain or the Channel Islands or in the Isle of Man, as they apply in relation to a child who is the subject of an adoption order..

163.—(1) In Article 59 (prohibition on certain payments), in paragraph (1), after “this Article” insert “and Article 59A”.

(2) In paragraph (2)(d) for “in the actual custody of” substitute “with”.

164.  After Article 59 insert the following Article—

Permitted allowances

59A.(1) The Department may make regulations for the purpose of enabling adoption agencies to pay allowances to persons who have adopted, or intend to adopt, children in pursuance of arrangements made by the agencies.

(2) Article 59(1) shall not apply to any payment made by an adoption agency in accordance with the regulations.

(3) The regulations may, in particular, make provision as to—

(a)the procedure to be followed by any agency in determining whether a person should be paid an allowance;

(b)the circumstances in which an allowance may be paid;

(c)the factors to be taken into account in determining the amount of an allowance;

(d)the procedure for review, variation and termination of allowances; and

(e)the information about allowances to be supplied by any agency to any person who is intending to adopt a child.

(4) Any scheme approved under Article 59(4) shall be revoked as from the commencement of this Article.

(5) Article 59(1) shall not apply in relation to any payment made—

(a)in accordance with a scheme revoked under paragraph (4) or Article 59(5)(b); and

(b)to a person to whom such payments were made before the revocation of the scheme.

(6) Paragraph (5) shall not apply where any person to whom any payments may lawfully be made by virtue of paragraph (5) agrees to receive (instead of such payments) payments complying with regulations made under this Article..

165.  In Article 64(3) (appeal from county court), for “paragraphs (2) and (4)” substitute “paragraph (2)”.

166.  For Article 66 (guardians ad litem) substitute the following Articles—

Guardians ad litem

66.(1) For the purpose of any application for an adoption order or an order freeing a child for adoption or an order under Article 20 or 57, an authorised court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the child concerned.

(2) The guardian ad litem—

(a)shall be appointed in accordance with adoption rules; and

(b)shall be under a duty to safeguard the interests of the child in the prescribed manner.

Panels for selection of guardians ad litem

66A.(1) The Department may by regulations provide for the establishment of panels of persons from whom guardians ad litem appointed under Article 66 must be selected.

(2) The regulations may, in particular, make provision—

(a)for the constitution, administration and procedures of panels and for the appointment of panel managers;

(b)for the defrayment of expenses and for the payment of fees and allowances;

(c)as to the qualifications for appointment as a guardian ad litem;

(d)as to the training to be given to guardians ad litem or to persons with a view to their appointment as guardians ad litem; and

(e)for monitoring the work of guardians ad litem.

(3) Adoption rules may make provision as to the assistance which any guardian ad litem may be required by the court to give to it.

(4) The Department may, with the approval of the Department of Finance and Personnel, make such grants as the Department considers appropriate with respect to expenditure incurred under regulations made under this Article..

167.  In paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 (membership of Appeal Tribunals)—

(a)after “barrister-at-law” insert “or solicitor”;

(b)for “Lord Chief Justice” substitute “Lord Chancellor”.

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