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Adoption and Children Act 2002

Section 3: Maintenance of Adoption Service

28.Under section 3, each local authority must continue to provide within their area an adoption service, designed to meet the needs of children who may be adopted, their parents and guardians, persons wishing to adopt a child and adopted persons, their parents, natural parents and former guardians. Facilities must include making and participating in arrangements for the adoption of children and arrangements for the provision of adoption support services. In addition to the duty to make arrangements for the provision of adoption support services to the above categories of persons, subsection (3)(a) places local authorities under a duty to make arrangements for the provision of adoption support services to persons prescribed in regulations. Subsection (3)(b) gives local authorities a power to make arrangements for the provision of adoption support services to other persons.

29.Local authorities may meet their obligation to provide services by ensuring that they are provided by a registered adoption society or such other persons as may be specified in regulations (subsection (4)). Subsection (5) provides that facilities of the adoption service must be provided in conjunction with other local authority social services and with registered adoption societies in the local authority’s own area, in a co-ordinated manner.

30.The provisions in sections 2 and 3 will be used to give effect to the new framework for adoption support services including financial support.

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