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(1)For the purpose of any application for an adoption order or an order freeing a child for adoption or an order under section 20 or 55 rules shall provide for the appointment, in such cases as are prescribed [F2of an officer of the Service]—
(a)[F3to act on behalf]of the child upon the hearing of the application, with the duty of safe-guarding the interests of the child in the prescribed manner;
(b)F4. . . for the purpose of witnessing agreements to adoption and performing such other duties as the rules may prescribe.
(2)A person who is employed—
(a)in the case of an application for an adoption order, by the adoption agency by whom the child was placed; or
(b)in the case of an application for an order freeing a child for adoption, by the adoption agency by whom the application was made; or
(c)in the case of an application under section 20, by the adoption agency with the parental rights and duties relating to the child,
shall not be appointed to act [F5under subsection (1)] for the purposes of the application but, subject to that, the same person may if the court thinks fit [F5act under both paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1)].
[F6(3)Rules of court may make provision as to the assistance which an officer of the Service may be required by the court to give to it.
(4)In this section “officer of the Service” has the same meaning as in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.]
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