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Adoption and Children Act 2002

Section 35: Return of child in other cases

116.Section 35 applies in cases where the prospective adopters want to return the child or the adoption agency has decided that the child should not remain with the prospective adopters. In the first case the prospective adopters must give notice to the agency that they want to return the child and the agency has to collect the child (subsection (1)). The agency must also tell the child’s parent so he may consider his position.  In the second case, the agency must give notice to the prospective adopters that it does not want the child to remain with them and the prospective adopters must return the child within 7 days.  Again, the agency must inform the child’s parent (subsection (2)).  If the prospective adopters fail to return the child, they commit an offence and are liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 of the standard scale, or both (subsection (4)).

117.If before notice of removal is given, an application was made for an adoption order in England and Wales (or Scotland or Northern Ireland) or for a residence order or special guardianship order, or for leave to apply for these orders in respect of the child, and that application has not been disposed of, the prospective adopters do not have to return the child unless the court makes an order to that effect (subsection (5)).

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