Procedure in respect of carrying out an assessment

26.—(1) Where the adoption agency, after having followed the procedures referred to in regulations 23 and 25, consider the prospective adopter may be suitable to be an adoptive parent, it must carry out an assessment in accordance with this regulation.

(2) The adoption agency must obtain such particulars about the prospective adopter as are referred to in Part 1 of Schedule 4.

(3) The adoption agency must obtain —

(a)a written report from a registered medical practitioner about the health of the prospective adopter which must deal with the matters specified in Part 2 of Schedule 4 unless such a report has been made within 6 months of the panel’s consideration of the case under regulation 27 and is available to the agency;

(b)a written report of each of the interviews with the persons nominated by the prospective adopter as personal referees; and

(c)a written report from the local authority in whose area the prospective adopter lives, and where the prospective adopter has lived in that area for a period of less than twelve months the agency must obtain a written report also from the local authority in whose area the prospective adopter lived previously.

(4) The adoption agency must prepare a written report which must include —

(a)the details of the prospective adopter as set out in Part 1 of Schedule 4;

(b)a summary, written by the agency’s medical adviser, of the state of health of the prospective adopter;

(c)the agency’s assessment of the prospective adopter’s suitability to adopt a child, and in determining the suitability of a couple to adopt a child the agency must have proper regard to the need for stability and permanence in their relationship;

(d)any relevant information the agency obtains under paragraph (3)(c);

(e)any observations of the agency on the matters referred to in regulations 22, 23, and 25;

(f)any other information which the agency considers relevant.

(5) In a section 83 case the report must include —

(a)the name of the country (“country of origin”) from which the prospective adopter wishes to adopt;

(b)confirmation that the prospective adopter meets the eligibility requirements to adopt from the country of origin;

(c)additional information obtained as a consequence of the requirements of the country of origin; and

(d)the agency’s assessment of the prospective adopter’s suitability to adopt a child who is habitually resident outside the British Islands.

(6) The adoption agency must notify the prospective adopter their application is to be referred to the adoption panel and at the same time send the prospective adopter a copy of the agency’s report referred to in paragraph (4), and invite any observations on the report to be sent in writing to the agency within 10 working days, beginning with the date on which the notification was sent.

(7) At the end of the period of 10 working days referred to in paragraph (6) (or earlier if any observations made by the prospective adopter are received before the 10 working days have expired) the adoption agency must send —

(a)the report referred to in paragraph (4), together with any observations provided by the prospective adopter under paragraph (6);

(b)the written reports referred to in paragraph (3); and

(c)any other relevant information obtained by the agency under this regulation

to the adoption panel.

(8) The adoption agency must obtain, so far as is reasonably practicable, any other relevant information which may be required by the adoption panel and send that information to the panel.