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Act of Sederunt (Child Care and Maintenance Rules) 1997

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Duties of reporting officer and curator ad litem

2.53—(1) A reporting officer appointed under rule 2.51(1) shall, where appropriate–

(a)enquire into the facts and circumstances averred in the petition;

(b)ascertain whether the conditions in subsections (2) to (7) of section 30 of the 1990 Act have been satisfied;

(c)witness any execution in Scotland of any agreement under section 30(5) of the 1990 Act, and investigate whether the agreement is given freely, unconditionally and with full understanding of what is involved;

(d)where a person whose agreement is required is furth of Scotland, confirm his views in writing, ensure that any agreement under said section 30(5) is witnessed in accordance with rule 2.48(2) and investigate whether the agreement is given freely, unconditionally and with full understanding of what is involved;

(e)ensure that each person whose agreement is required understands that in agreeing to the parental order he is giving up all future claims to the child and that all parental rights and responsibilities will vest in the petitioners;

(f)investigate whether there are any other persons with a relevant interest and whether they should be informed of the petition;

(g)ascertain from any person whose agreement is required and who can be found whether alternatives to a parental order have been discussed with him;

(h)ensure that any person whose agreement is required is aware of the date (if known) of the hearing to determine the application if he wishes to appear, and confirm that any such person understands that he may withdraw his agreement at any time before a parental order is made; and

(i)draw to the attention of the court any matter which may be of assistance;

and shall report in writing thereon to the sheriff within 4 weeks from the date of the interlocutor appointing the reporting officer, or within such other period as the sheriff in his discretion may allow.

(2) A curator ad litem appointed under rule 2.51(1) shall–

(a)safeguard generally the interests of the child;

(b)enquire, so far as he considers necessary, into the facts and circumstances averred in the petition;

(c)ascertain whether any money or other benefit which is prohibited by section 30(7) of the 1990 Act (prohibition on gift or receipt of money or other benefit) has been received or agreed upon;

(d)establish that the petitioners understand that the nature and effect of a parental order is to transfer the parental rights and responsibilities in relation to the child to the petitioners and make them responsible for the maintenance and upbringing of the child;

(e)ascertain whether the proposed parental order is likely to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child throughout his life;

(f)ascertain whether it may be in the interests of the child that the court should make a parental order subject to particular conditions, including the making of special provision for the child; and

(g)perform such other duties as appear to him to be necessary or as the court may require;

and shall report in writing thereon to the sheriff within 4 weeks from the date of the interlocutor appointing the curator, or within such other period as the sheriff in his discretion may allow.

(3) The reporting officer shall, on completion of his report in terms of paragraph (1), in addition send to the sheriff clerk–

(a)a copy of his report for each party; and

(b)any agreement for the purposes of section 30(5) of the 1990 Act.

(4) The curator ad litem shall, on completion of his report in terms of paragraph (2), in addition send a copy for each party to the sheriff clerk.

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