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The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005

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Establishment of adoption panel

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3.—(1) Subject to paragraph (5), an adoption agency must establish at least one panel, to be known as an adoption panel, in accordance with this regulation.

(2) The adoption agency must appoint to chair the panel a person, not being a disqualified person, who has the skills and experience necessary for chairing an adoption panel.

(3) Subject to paragraph (5), the adoption panel shall consist of no more than ten members, including the person appointed under paragraph (2), and shall include —

(a)two social workers each with at least three years' relevant post-qualifying experience;

(b)in the case of a registered adoption society(1), one person who is a director, manager or other officer and is concerned in the management of that society;

(c)in the case of a local authority, one member of that authority;

(d)the medical adviser to the adoption agency (or one of them if more than one medical adviser is appointed);

(e)at least three other persons (in this regulation referred to as “independent members”) including where reasonably practicable at least two persons with personal experience of adoption.

(4) The adoption agency must appoint one member of the adoption panel as vice chair (“vice chair”) who shall act as chair if the person appointed to chair the panel is absent or his office is vacant.

(5) An adoption panel may be established jointly by any two or more local authorities (“joint adoption panel”) and if a joint adoption panel is established—

(a)the maximum number of members who may be appointed to that panel is eleven;

(b)by agreement between the local authorities there shall be appointed to that panel—

(i)a person to chair the panel, not being a disqualified person, who has the skills and experience necessary for chairing an adoption panel;

(ii)two social workers each with at least three years' relevant post-qualifying experience;

(iii)one member of any of the local authorities;

(iv)the medical adviser to one of the local authorities; and

(v)at least three independent members including where reasonably practicable at least two persons with personal experience of adoption;

(c)by agreement the local authorities must appoint one member of the panel as vice chair (“vice chair”) who shall act as chair if the person appointed to chair the panel is absent or his office is vacant.

(6) A person shall not be appointed as an independent member of an adoption panel if—

(a)in the case of a registered adoption society, he is or has been within the last year a trustee or employee, or is related to an employee, of that society;

(b)in the case of a local authority, he—

(i)is or has been within the last year employed by that authority in their children and family social services;

(ii)is related to a person falling within head (i); or

(iii)is or has been within the last year a member of that authority; or

(c)he is the adoptive parent of a child who was—

(i)placed for adoption with him by the adoption agency (“agency A”); or

(ii)placed for adoption with him by another adoption agency where he had been approved as suitable to be an adoptive parent by agency A,

unless at least twelve months has elapsed since the adoption order was made in respect of the child.

(7) For the purposes of regulation 3(2) and (5)(b)(i) a person is a disqualified person if—

(a)in the case of a registered adoption society, he is or has been within the last year a trustee or employee, or is related to an employee, of that society; or

(b)in the case of a local authority, he is or has been within the last year a member or employee, or is related to an employee, of that authority.

(8) For the purposes of paragraphs (6)(a) and (b)(ii) and (7) a person (“person A”) is related to another person (“person B”) if person A is—

(a)a member of the household of, or married to or the civil partner(2) of, person B;

(b)the son, daughter, mother, father, sister or brother of person B; or

(c)the son, daughter, mother, father, sister or brother of the person to whom person B is married or with whom B has formed a civil partnership.

(1)

See section 2(2) of the Act.

(2)

For the definitions of “civil partner” and “civil partnership” see Schedule 1 to the Interpretation Act 1978 inserted by the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), Schedule 27, paragraph 59.

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