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Adoption and Children Act 2002

Section 42: Child to live with adopters before application

131.Section 42 sets out the period a child must live with the applicants before they can apply for an adoption order.  Where the child is placed for adoption by an adoption agency (or pursuant to an order of the High Court, or being adopted by his natural parent) an application for an adoption order may not be made unless the child has had his home with one or both of the applicants at all times in the 10 weeks before the application is made (subsection (2)).  For adoptions by a partner of a parent, the child is required to have had his home with the prospective adopters for a period of at least 6 months before the application may be made (subsection (3)).  The period is one year in the case of non-agency applications by local authority foster parents and 3 out of the last 5 years in any other non-agency cases, unless the court gives leave for an earlier application (subsections (4) to (6)).

132.Furthermore, the court may not make an adoption order unless it is satisfied the agency, or the local authority in non-agency cases, have had sufficient opportunities to see the child with the applicants in their home (subsection (7)).

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