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Children Act 1975

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51 Restriction on removal of child where applicant has provided home for three years.S

(1)Where a person has applied for [F1a residence order in relation to] a child, it shall be an offence, except with the authority of a court or under authority conferred by any enactment or on the arrest of the child, to remove the child from the [F2care and possession] of the applicant against the will of the applicant if—

(a)the child has been in the care and possession of that person for a period or periods before the making of the application which amount to at least three years; and

(b)the application is pending in any court.

[F3(2)In any case where subsection (1) applies, and the child—

(a)was being looked after by a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 before he began to have his home with the applicant, and

(b)continues to be looked after by such a council,

the council by whom the child is being looked after shall not remove him from the applicant’s care and possession except—

(i)with the applicant’s consent;

(ii)with the leave of the court; or

(iii)in accordance with an order made, or authority or warrant granted, under Chapter 2 or 3 of Part II of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.]

(3)Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding [F4level 5 on the standard scale] or both.

(4)The Secretary of State may by order, a draft of which has been approved by each House of Parliament, amend subsection (1) to substitute a different period for the period mentioned in that subsection (or for the period which, by a previous order under this subsection, was substituted for that period).

[F5(5)In this section “looked after” and “residence order” have the meanings given respectively by section 17(6) and section 11(2)(c) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995; and “residence order” shall have the same meaning in sections 52 and 53 of this Act.]

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