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Adoption and Children Act 2002

Section 87: Overseas adoptions

227.Overseas adoption orders are recognised automatically in England and Wales.  Section 87 provides that for the purposes of the Act and the Adoption Act 1976 overseas adoptions are those specified by an order made by the Secretary of State describing adoptions effected under the law of any country or territory outside the British Islands, and are not Convention adoptions.  Regulations may set out requirements that ought to be met in order for an adoption to be classified as an overseas adoption.  The regulations may be made by the Secretary of State, following consultation with the National Assembly for Wales.  Subsection (3) imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to exercise his powers to make an order so as to secure that adoptions made after that date are not overseas adoptions if he considers they are not likely within a reasonable time to meet the requirements prescribed by regulations.  Subsection (5) enables the Secretary of State to provide in the order the manner in which evidence of any overseas adoption may be given.

228.It is intended to review which countries’ adoption orders will be recognised in the United Kingdom.  This section allows the Secretary of State to specify clear criteria that must be met for a country to be included on the revised “designated list”.  It also ensures that the status of those adopted from countries included on the previous “designated list” is not undermined by the introduction of a new order.

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