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SCHEDULE 1

PART IVAfreeing for adoption and adoption orders

Introductory

Interpretation

4A.1.—(1) In this Part and Parts IVB and IVC, unless the context otherwise requires –

“the 1976 Act” means the Adoption Act 1976(1);

“the 1978 Act” means the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978(2);

“the Order of 1987” means the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987(3), and –

(a)

a reference to an Article by number is a reference to that Article as numbered in that Order; and

(b)

expressions which are defined in the Order of 1987 have the same meaning as in that Order;

“adoption agency” means a Board or a registered adoption society which is an accredited body for the purposes of the Convention(4);

“parental responsibility” has the same meaning as in the Order of 1995;

“application” means an application made under or by virtue of the Order of 1987 or under these Rules and “applicant” shall be construed accordingly;

“Board” means a Health and Social Services Board or, as the case may be, a Trust;

CA of the receiving State” means, in relation to a Convention country(5) other than the United Kingdom, the Central Authority of the receiving State;

CA of the State of origin” means, in relation to a Convention country other than the United Kingdom, the Central Authority of the State of origin;

“Central Authority” means the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety;

“the child” means the person whom the applicant for an adoption order or an order authorising a proposed foreign adoption proposes to adopt, or, as the case may be, the person the adoption agency proposes should be freed for adoption;

“Convention” means the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, concluded at the Hague on 29th May 1993;

“Convention country” means any country or territory in which the Convention is in force;

Convention proceedings” means proceedings in the High Court or a county court for a Convention adoption order or in connection with a Convention adoption order or a Convention adoption(6);

Hague Convention Regulations” means the Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(7);

“interim order” means an order under Article 26;

the Master” means the Master (Care and Protection) or, as the case may be, the chief clerk;

“medical practitioner” has the meaning assigned by Article 2(2) of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972(8);

the Office” means the Office of Care and Protection or, where appropriate, the office of the chief clerk for the county court division in which proceedings are pending;

“order authorising a proposed foreign adoption” means an order under Article 57;

“receiving State” means the State in which it is proposed that the child will become habitually resident;

“regular armed forces of the Crown” means the Royal Navy, the Regular Armed Forces as defined by section 225 of the Army Act 1955(9), the Regular Air Force as defined by section 223 of the Air Force Act 1955(10), the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service and the Women’s Royal Naval Service;

“State of origin” means the State in which the child is habitually resident.

Proceedings

4A.2.  Any hearing of an application shall be dealt with in chambers unless the court otherwise directs.

(4)

Section 2(3) of the Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 c. 11 (N.I.) provides that a registered adoption society is an accredited body for the purposes of the Convention if its registration extends to the provision of facilities in respect of Convention adoptions and adoptions effected by Convention adoption orders

(5)

The term “Convention country” is defined in Article 2(2) of the Order of 1987, as amended by section 6 of the Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

(6)

The terms “Convention adoption order” and “Convention adoption” are defined in Article 2(2) of the 1987 Order, as amended by section 6 of the Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act (Northern Ireland) 2001