Search Legislation

Adoption and Children Act 2002

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Please note:

All reference to 'Parts' and 'sections' are from the Adoption and Children Act 2002. For other versions of these Explanatory Notes, see More Resources.

  1. Introduction

  2. Summary

    1. Changes to the Adoption Service

    2. Placement for adoption

    3. Adoption orders

    4. Disclosure of information about a person’s adoption

    5. Intercountry adoption

    6. Safeguards for the adoption process

    7. Measures to tackle delay

    8. Special Guardianship

  3. The Act

  4. Commentary on Sections

    1. Part 1 – Adoption

      1. Chapter 1 - Introductory

        1. Section 1: Considerations applying to the exercise of powers

      2. Chapter 2 – The Adoption Service

        1. Section 2: Basic definitions

        2. Section 3: Maintenance of Adoption Service

        3. Section 4: Assessments etc. for adoption support services

        4. Section 5: Local authority plans for adoption services

        5. Section 6: Arrangements on cancellation of registration

        6. Section 7: Inactive or defunct adoption societies etc.

        7. Section 8: Adoption support agencies

        8. Section 9: General power to regulate adoption etc. agencies

        9. Section 10: Management etc. of agencies

        10. Section 11: Fees

        11. Section 12: Independent review of determinations

        12. Section 13: Information concerning adoption

        13. Section 14: Default power of appropriate Minister

        14. Section 15: Inspection of premises etc.

        15. Section 16: Distribution of functions in relation to registered adoption societies

        16. Section 17: Inquiries

      3. Chapter 3  - Placement for Adoption and Adoption Orders

        1. Section 18: Placement for adoption by agencies

        2. Section 19: Placing children with parental consent

        3. Section 20: Advance consent to adoption

        4. Section 21: Placement orders

        5. Section 22: Applications for placement orders

        6. Section 23: Varying placement orders

        7. Section 24: Revoking placement orders

        8. Section 25: Parental responsibility

        9. Section 26: Contact

        10. Section 27: Contact: supplementary

        11. Sections 28 and 29: Further consequences of placement and placement orders

          1. Removal provisions

        12. Section 30: General prohibitions on removal

        13. Section 31: Recovery by parent etc. where child not placed or is a baby

        14. Section 32: Recovery by parent etc. where child placed and consent withdrawn

        15. Section 33: Recovery by parent etc. where application for placement order refused

        16. Section 34: Placement orders: prohibition on removal

        17. Section 35: Return of child in other cases

        18. Sections 36 to 40: Restrictions on removal

        19. Section 36: Restrictions on removal

        20. Section 37: Applicants for adoption

        21. Section 38: Local authority foster parents

        22. Section 39: Partners of parents

        23. Section 40: Other non-agency cases

        24. Section 41: Recovery orders

        25. Section 42: Child to live with adopters before application

        26. Section 43: Reports where child placed by agency

        27. Section 44: Notice of intention to adopt

        28. Section 45: Suitability of adopters

        29. Section 46: Adoption orders

        30. Section 47: Conditions for making adoption orders

        31. Section 48: Restrictions on making adoption orders

        32. Section 49: Applications for adoption

        33. Section 50: Adoption by couple

        34. Section 51: Adoption by one person

        35. Section 52: Parental etc. consent

        36. Section 53: Modification of 1989 Act in relation to adoption

        37. Section 54: Disclosing information during adoption process

        38. Section 55: Revocation of adoptions on legitimation

          1. Disclosure of information in relation to a person’s adoption

        39. Section 56: Information to be kept about a person’s adoption

        40. Section 57: Restrictions on disclosure of protected etc. information

        41. Section 58: Disclosure of other information

        42. Section 59: Offence

        43. Section 60: Disclosing information to adopted adult

        44. Section 61: Disclosing protected information about adults

        45. Section 62: Disclosing protected information about children

        46. Section 63: Counselling

        47. Section 64: Other provision to be made by regulations

        48. Section 65: Sections 56 to 65: Interpretation

      4. Chapter 4 – Status of Adopted Children

        1. Section 66: Meaning of adoption in Chapter 4

        2. Section 67: Status conferred by adoption

        3. Section 68: Adoptive relatives

        4. Section 69: Rules of interpretation for instruments concerning property

        5. Section 70: Dispositions depending on date of birth

        6. Section 71: Property devolving with peerages etc.

        7. Section 72: Protection of trustees and personal representatives

        8. Section 73: Meaning of disposition

        9. Section 74: Miscellaneous enactments

        10. Section 75: Pensions

        11. Section 76: Insurance

      5. Chapter 5 - The Registers

        1. Section 77: Adopted Children Register

        2. Section 78: Searches and copies

        3. Section 79: Connections between the register and birth records

        4. Section 80: Adoption Contact Register

        5. Section 81: Adoption Contact Register: supplementary

        6. Section 82: Interpretation

      6. Chapter 6 – Adoptions with a Foreign Element

        1. Section 83: Restriction on bringing children in

        2. Section 84: Giving parental responsibility prior to adoption abroad

        3. Section 85: Restriction on taking children out

        4. Section 86: Power to modify sections 83 and 85

        5. Section 87: Overseas adoptions

        6. Section 88: Modification of section 67 for Hague Convention adoptions

        7. Section 89: Annulment etc. of overseas or Hague Convention adoptions

        8. Section 90: Section 89: supplementary

        9. Section 91: Overseas determinations and orders

      7. Chapter 7 - Miscellaneous

        1. Section 92: Restriction on arranging adoptions, etc.

        2. Section 93: Offence of breaching restrictions under section 92

        3. Section 94: Restriction on reports

        4. Section 95: Prohibition of certain payments

        5. Section 96: Excepted payments

        6. Section 98: Pre-commencement adoptions: information

        7. Section 99: Proceedings for offences

        8. Section 100: Appeals

        9. Section 101: Privacy

        10. Section 102: Officers of the Service

        11. Section 103: Right of officers of the Service to have access to adoption agency records

        12. Section 104: Evidence of consent

        13. Section 105: Effect of certain Scottish orders and provisions

        14. Section 106: Effect of certain Northern Irish orders and provisions

        15. Section 107: Use of adoption records from other parts of the British Islands

        16. Section 108: Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

        17. Section 109: Avoiding delay

        18. Section 110: Service of notices etc.

    2. Part 2 – Amendments of the Children Act 1989

      1. Section 111: Parental responsibility of unmarried father

      2. Section 112: Acquisition of parental responsibility by step-parent

      3. Section 113: Section 8 orders: local authority foster parents

      4. Section 114: Residence orders: extension to age of 18

      5. Section 115: Special guardianship

      6. Section 116: Accommodation of children in need etc.

      7. Section 117: Inquiries by local authorities into representations

      8. Section 118: Review of cases of looked after children

      9. Section 119: Advocacy services

      10. Section 120: Meaning of “harm” in the 1989 Act

      11. Section 121: Care plans

      12. Section 122: Interests of children in proceedings

    3. Part 3 -Miscellaneous and Final Provisions

      1. Chapter 1 – Miscellaneous

        1. Section 123: Restrictions on advertisements etc.

        2. Section 124: Offence of breaching restrictions under section 123

        3. Section 125: Adoption and Children Act Register

        4. Section 126: Use of an organisation to establish etc. the register

        5. Section 127: Use of an organisation as agency for payments

        6. Section 128: Supply of information for the register

        7. Section 129: Disclosure of information

        8. Section 130: Territorial application

        9. Section 131: Supplementary

        10. Section 132: Amendment of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978: contravention of sections 30 to 36 of Adoption and Children Act 2002

        11. Section 133: Scottish restriction on bringing children into or out of United Kingdom

        12. Section 134: Amendment of Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978: overseas adoptions

        13. Section 135: Adoption and fostering: criminal records

        14. Section 136: Payment of grants in connection with welfare services

        15. Section 137: Extension of the Hague Convention to British Overseas Territories

        16. Section 138: Proceedings in Great Britain

      2. Chapter 2 - Final Provisions

        1. Section 140: Orders, rules and regulations

        2. Section 141: Rules of procedure

        3. Section 144: General interpretation, etc.

        4. Section 145: Devolution: Wales

    4. Schedule 1: Registration of Adoptions

    5. Schedule 2: Disclosure of Birth Records by Registrar General

    6. Schedule 3: Minor and consequential amendments

    7. Schedule 4: Transitional and transitory provisions and savings

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources