Search Legislation

Adoption and Children Act 2002

Section 144: General interpretation, etc.

344.Section 144 provides general interpretation. One of the important definitions in this section is the definition of “appropriate Minister.”  This is defined as in relation to England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, the Secretary of State and in relation to Wales the National Assembly for Wales.  Subsection (4) provides a definition of a “couple”.  This definition applies solely for the purposes of the Act and does not impact on other legislation.  A couple means a married couple or two people, whether of different sexes or of the same sex, living as partners in an enduring family relationship.  The latter does not include two people where one person is the other’s parent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt or uncle (subsection (5)).  Subsection (6) provides that the relationships set out in subsection (5) include relationships of the full or half blood and also include the relationship of an adoptive parent with his adopted child, or his former adopted child.  The wording at the end of subsection (6) makes clear that adoptive relationships other than those set out in subsection (6)(b) are not included in the list at subsection (5).  Subsection (7) provides a definition of “partner” for the purposes of this Act.  A person is a partner of the child’s parent if the person and the parent are a couple but the person is not the child’s parent.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources