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Adoption and Children Act 2002

Section 61: Disclosing protected information about adults

171.Section 61 provides for the process that an adoption agency must undertake when an application is made for the disclosure of protected information about an adult.  Subsection (1) provides that this process applies where any person applies to the appropriate adoption agency (defined at section 65(1)) for protected information and none of that protected information is about a person who is a child at the time that the application is made.

172.Subsection (2) provides that the agency is not obliged to process an application for disclosure of information unless it considers that it is appropriate to do so.  Where an agency does consider that it is appropriate to proceed with the application, subsection (3) obliges it to take all reasonable steps to obtain the views of the person the information is about as to the disclosure of that information.

173.Subsection (4) gives the agency discretion to proceed with the application to disclose the information if it considers it appropriate to do so.  Subsection (5) provides that in making a decision as to whether or not it is appropriate to proceed with the application or to disclose the information, the agency must consider the welfare of the adopted person, any views that it has obtained under subsection (3), any matters that may be prescribed in regulations and all the other circumstances of the case.

174.Under subsection (6), this section does not apply to a request for information under section 60(2), where a request is made by an adopted adult for either the information needed to obtain a certified copy of his birth record or the information given by an agency to his adopters under section 54.  Applications by an adopted person for the disclosure of all other protected information fall within this section or section 62. Section 62 does not apply to a request for information which the agency is authorised or required to disclose in pursuance of regulations made by virtue of section 57(6).

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