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Adoption and Children Act 2002

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

144General interpretation etc.

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)In this Act—

  • “appropriate Minister” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, the Secretary of State,

    (b)

    in relation to Wales, the Assembly,

    and in relation to England and Wales means the Secretary of State and the Assembly acting jointly,

  • “the Assembly” means the National Assembly for Wales,

  • “body” includes an unincorporated body,

  • “by virtue of” includes “by” and “under”,

  • “child”, except where used to express a relationship, means a person who has not attained the age of 18 years,

  • “the Convention” means the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, concluded at the Hague on 29th May 1993,

  • “Convention adoption order” means an adoption order which, by virtue of regulations under section 1 of the Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act 1999 (c. 18) (regulations giving effect to the Convention), is made as a Convention adoption order,

  • “Convention country” means a country or territory in which the Convention is in force,

  • “court” means, subject to any provision made by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 11 to the 1989 Act, the High Court, a county court or a magistrates' court,

  • “enactment” includes an enactment comprised in subordinate legislation,

  • “fee” includes expenses,

  • “guardian” has the same meaning as in the 1989 Act and includes a special guardian within the meaning of that Act,

  • “information” means information recorded in any form,

  • “local authority” means any unitary authority, or any county council so far as they are not a unitary authority,

  • “Northern Irish adoption agency” means an adoption agency within the meaning of Article 3 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (S.I. 1987/2203 (N.I. 22)),

  • “Northern Irish adoption order” means an order made, or having effect as if made, under Article 12 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987,

  • “notice” means a notice in writing,

  • “registration authority” (in Part 1) has the same meaning as in the Care Standards Act 2000 (c. 14),

  • “regulations” means regulations made by the appropriate Minister, unless they are required to be made by the Lord Chancellor, the Secretary of State or the Registrar General,

  • “relative”, in relation to a child, means a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt, whether of the full blood or half-blood or by marriage,

  • “rules” means rules made under section 141(1) or made by virtue of section 141(2) under section 144 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43),

  • “Scottish adoption order” means an order made, or having effect as if made, under section 12 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 (c. 28),

  • “subordinate legislation” has the same meaning as in the Interpretation Act 1978 (c. 30),

  • “unitary authority” means—

    (a)

    the council of any county so far as they are the council for an area for which there are no district councils,

    (b)

    the council of any district comprised in an area for which there is no county council,

    (c)

    the council of a county borough,

    (d)

    the council of a London borough,

    (e)

    the Common Council of the City of London.

(2)Any power conferred by this Act to prescribe a fee by Order in Council or regulations includes power to prescribe—

(a)a fee not exceeding a prescribed amount,

(b)a fee calculated in accordance with the Order or, as the case may be, regulations,

(c)a fee determined by the person to whom it is payable, being a fee of a reasonable amount.

(3)In this Act, “Scottish adoption agency” means—

(a)a local authority, or

(b)a voluntary organisation providing a registered adoption service;

but in relation to the provision of any particular service, references to a Scottish adoption agency do not include a voluntary organisation unless it is registered in respect of that service or a service which, in Scotland, corresponds to that service.

Expressions used in this subsection have the same meaning as in the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 (asp 4) and “registered” means registered under Part 1 of that Act.

(4)In this Act, a couple means—

(a)a married couple, or

(b)two people (whether of different sexes or the same sex) living as partners in an enduring family relationship.

(5)Subsection (4)(b) does not include two people one of whom is the other’s parent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt or uncle.

(6)References to relationships in subsection (5)—

(a)are to relationships of the full blood or half blood or, in the case of an adopted person, such of those relationships as would exist but for adoption, and

(b)include the relationship of a child with his adoptive, or former adoptive, parents,

but do not include any other adoptive relationships.

(7)For the purposes of this Act, a person is the partner of a child’s parent if the person and the parent are a couple but the person is not the child’s parent.

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