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The Family Proceedings (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2003

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PART Imatters to be covered in reports supplied under rules 4a.3(4), 4a.4(7), 4a.22(1) or 4a.22(2)

So far as is practicable, the report supplied by the adoption agency or, in the case of a report supplied under rule 4A.20(2), the Board shall include all the following particulars: –

1.  The Child

(a)Name, sex, date and place of birth and address;

(b)whether the child’s parents were married to each other at the time of his birth and, if not, whether he was subsequently legitimated;

(c)nationality;

(d)physical description;

(e)personality and social development;

(f)religion, including details of baptism, confirmation or equivalent ceremonies;

(g)details of any wardship proceedings and of any court orders relating to parental responsibility for the child or to maintenance and residence.

(h)details of any brothers and sisters, including dates of birth, arrangements concerning with whom they are to live and whether any brother or sister is the subject of a parallel application.

(i)extent of contact with members of the child’s natural family and, if the child’s parents were not married to each other at the time of his birth, his father, and in each case the nature of the relationship enjoyed;

(j)if the child has been in the care of a Board or voluntary organisation, or is in such care, or is being or has been looked after by such an authority or organisation, details (including dates) of any placements with foster parents, or other arrangements in respect of the care of the child, including particulars of the persons with whom the child has had his home and observations on the care provided;

(k)date and circumstances of placement with prospective adopter and, where a Convention adoption is proposed, details of the arrangements which were made for the transfer of the child to the UK and that they are in accordance with regulation 10(8) of the Hague Convention Regulations;

(l)names, addresses and types of schools attended, with dates, and educational attainments;

(m)any special needs in relation to the child’s health (whether physical or mental) and his emotional and behavioural development and whether he is subject to a statement under the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986(1);

(n)what, if any, rights to or interest in property or any claim to damages, under the Fatal Accidents (Northern Ireland) Order 1977(2) or otherwise, the child stands to retain or lose if adopted;

(o)wishes and feelings in relation to adoption and the application, including any wishes in respect of religious and cultural upbringing; and

(p)any other relevant information which might assist the court.

2.  Each Natural parent

(a)Name, date and place of birth and address;

(b)marital status and date and place of marriage (if any);

(c)past and present relationship (if any) with the other natural parent, including comments on its stability;

(d)physical description;

(e)personality;

(f)religion;

(g)educational attainments;

(h)past and present occupations and interests;

(i)so far as available, names and brief details of the personal circumstances of the parents and any brothers and sisters of the natural parent, with their ages or ages at death;

(j)wishes and feelings in relation to adoption and the application, including any wishes in respect of the child’s religious and cultural upbringing.

(k)reasons why any of the above information is unavailable; and

(l)any other relevant information which might assist the court.

3.  Guardian(s)

Give the details required under paragraph 2(a), (f), (j) and (l).

4.  Prospective Adopter(s)

(a)name, date and place of birth and address;

(b)domicile;

(c)relationship (if any) to the child;

(d)marital status, date and place of marriage (if any) and comments on stability of relationship;

(e)details of any previous marriage;

(f)if a parent and step-parent are applying, the reasons why they prefer adoption to a residence order;

(g)if a natural parent is applying alone, the reasons for the exclusion of the other parent;

(h)if a married person is applying alone, the reasons for this;

(i)physical description;

(j)personality;

(k)religion, and whether willing to follow any wishes of the child or his parents or guardian in respect of the child’s religious and cultural upbringing;

(l)educational attainments;

(m)past and present occupations and interests;

(n)particulars of the home and living conditions (and particulars of any home where the prospective adopter proposes to live with the child, if different);

(o)details of income and comments on the living standards of the household;

(p)details of other members of the household (including any children of the prospective adopter even if not resident in the household);

(q)details of the parents and any brothers or sisters of the prospective adopter, with their ages or ages at death;

(r)attitudes to the proposed adoption of such other members of the prospective adopter’s household and family as the adoption agency or, as the case may be, the Board considers appropriate;

(s)previous experience of caring for children as step-parent, foster parent, child-minder or prospective adopter and assessment of ability in this respect, together, where appropriate, with assessment of ability in bringing up the prospective adopter’s own children;

(t)reasons for wishing to adopt the child and extent of understanding of the nature and effect of adoption;

(u)any hopes and expectations for the child’s future;

(v)assessment of ability to bring up the child throughout his childhood;

(w)details of any adoption allowance payable;

(x)confirmation that any referees have been interviewed, with a report of their views and opinion of the weight to be placed thereon; and

(y)any other relevant information which might assist the court.

5.  Actions of the adoption agency or Board supplying the report

(a)Reports under rules 4A.3(4), 4A.4(7), or 4A.22(1): –

(i)brief account of the agency’s actions in the case, with particulars and dates of all written information and notices given to the child, his natural parents and the prospective adopter;

(ii)details of alternatives to adoption considered;

(iii)reasons for considering that adoption would be in the child’s best interest (with date of relevant decision); and

(iv)reasons for considering that the prospective adopter would be suitable to be an adoptive parent and that he would be suitable for this child (with dates of relevant decisions) or, if the child has not yet been placed for adoption, reasons for considering that he is likely to be so placed; or

(b)Reports under rule 4A.22(2): –

(i)confirmation that notice was given under Article 22 with the date of that notice;

(ii)brief account of the Board’s actions in the case; and

(iii)account of investigations whether child was placed in contravention of Article 11.

6.  Generally

(a)Whether any respondent appears to be under the age of majority or under a mental disability; and

(b)whether, in the opinion of the body supplying the report, any other person should be made a respondent (for example, a person claiming to be the father of a child whose parents were not married to each other at the time of his birth, a spouse or ex-spouse of a natural parent, a relative of a deceased parent, or a person with parental responsibility).

7.  Further information to be provided in proceedings relating to a Convention adoption/foreign adoption–

(a)where the UK is the State of origin confirmation that an order has been made under section 18(1) of the Adoption Act 1976(3), section 18 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978(4) or Article 17(1) or 18(1) of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987(5);

(b)where the UK is the State of origin confirmation that, after possibilities for placement of the child within the UK have been given due consideration, an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests;

(c)confirmation that the requirements of regulations made under Article 10(1) or 58ZA of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 have been complied with and, in the case of a Convention adoption, that the requirements of the Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(6) have been complied with;

(d)for a Convention adoption where the United Kingdom is either the State of origin or the receiving State confirmation that the Central Authorities of both States have agreed that the adoption may proceed. The documents supplied by the CA of the State of origin should be attached to the report together with a translation, if necessary.

8.  Conclusions

(This part of the report should contain more than a simple synopsis of the information above. As far as possible, the court should be given a fuller picture of the child, his natural parents and, where appropriate, the prospective adopter) –

(a)except where the applicant or one of them is a parent of the child, a summary by the medical adviser to the body supplying the report, of the health, history and state of health of the child, his natural parents and, if appropriate, the prospective adopter, with comments on the implications for the order sought and on how any special health needs of the child might be met;

(b)opinion on whether making the order sought would be in the child’s best long-term interests, and on how any special emotional, behavioural and educational needs of the child might be met;

(c)opinion on the effect of the child’s natural parents of making the order sought;

(d)if the child has been placed for adoption, opinion on the likelihood of full integration of the child into the household, family and community of the prospective adopter, and on whether the proposed adoption would be in the best long-term interests of the prospective adopter;

(e)opinion, if appropriate, on the relative merits of adoption and custody; and

(f)final conclusions and recommendations whether the order sought should be made (and, if not, alternative proposals).

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