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Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) (Northern Ireland) 2001

Section 11 - Construction of certain references

37.Section 11 inserts two new paragraphs in Article 2 of the 1987 Order. New paragraph (3A) extends the interpretation in the 1987 Order relating to arrangements for adoption. It provides that, in relation to the proposed adoption of a child resident outside the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, references to “arrangements for the adoption of a child” include references to arrangements for an assessment for the purpose of indicating whether or not a person is suitable to adopt a child.

38.Article 11 of the 1987 Order provides that arrangements for the adoption of a child can only be carried out by an adoption agency (except for certain exemptions for relatives and cases where a person is acting under the authority of the High Court). The effect of the new paragraph (3A) is to make clear that in intercountry cases, a home study assessment report for the purposes of adoption must be prepared by, or on behalf of, an adoption agency.

39.New paragraph (3B) extends the interpretation to be given to placing a child for adoption to include placing for adoption children habitually resident outside the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

40.The effect of the new paragraph (3B) is to provide that where an adoption agency has made arrangements for the adoption of a child from overseas, the placement will be deemed to be an agency placement. This will be the case even though the agency is not directly involved in those stages of the process (such as the “matching” of the child with the adopters or the actual placing of the child with them) which take place in the child’s country of origin. When the child is brought to Northern Ireland, the adoption agency’s duties as regards, for example, supervision and reports, will be equivalent to those of an adoption agency placing a child for adoption in non-intercountry cases.

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