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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:
(1)Where, on an application by an adoption agency, an authorised court is satisfied in the case of each parent or guardian of the child that—
(a)he freely, and with full understanding of what is involved, agrees generally and unconditionally to the making of an adoption order, or
(b)his agreement to the making of an adoption order should be dispensed with on a ground specified in section 16(2),
the court shall make an order declaring the child free for adoption.
(2)No application shall be made under subsection (1) unless—
(a)it is made with the consent of a parent or guardian of a child, or
(b)the adoption agency is applying for dispensation under subsection (1)(b) of the agreement of each parent or guardian of the child, and the child is in the care of the adoption agency.
[F1(2A)For the purposes of subsection (2) a child is in the care of an adoption agency if the adoption agency is a local authority and he is in their care.]
(3)No agreement required under subsection (1)(a) shall be dispensed with under subsection (1)(b) unless the child is already placed for adoption or the court is satisfied that it is likely that the child will be placed for adoption.
(4)An agreement by the mother of the child is ineffective for the purposes of this section if given less than 6 weeks after the child’s birth.
(5)On the making of an order under this section, [F2parental responsibility for the child is given to] the adoption agency, and subsections (2) [F3to (4)] of section 12 apply as if the order were an adoption order and the agency were the adopters.
(6)Before making an order under this section, the court shall satisfy itself, in relation to each parent or guardian [F4of the child who can be found], that he has been given an opportunity of making, if he so wishes, a declaration that he prefers not to be involved in future questions concerning the adoption of the child; and any such declaration shall be recorded by the court.
[F5(7)Before making an order under this section 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 section 4(1) of the Children Act 1989, or
(ii)a residence order under section 10 of that Act, or
(b)if he did make any such application, it would be likely to be refused.
(8)Subsections (5) and (7) of section 12 apply in relation to the making of an order under this section as they apply in relation to the making of an order under that section.]
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