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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 2: Basic definitions

This section sets out some basic definitions. Subsection (1) provides that the services provided under section 4(1) are to be known as "the Adoption Service" and that an adoption authority or an appropriate voluntary organisation may be referred to as an "adoption agency" (subsection (2)). An “appropriate voluntary organisation” is a voluntary organisation which is an adoption society in respect of which a person is registered; but in relation to the provision of any facility of the Adoption Service, references to an appropriate voluntary organisation or to an adoption agency do not include an adoption society if the registration is not in respect of that facility (subsection (3)). An “adoption society” is a body whose functions consist of or include making arrangements for the adoption of children. Registered means registered under Part 3 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 and registration means registration under that Order (subsection (5)). Registration in respect of an adoption society is treated as registered in respect of any facility of the Adoption Service for the purposes of the Act unless it is a condition of its registration that it may not provide that facility (subsection (4)).

Subsection (6) provides that adoption support services include counselling, advice and information in relation to adoption. Regulations will set out what other services are to fall within this definition. Subsection (7) provides that the Department must exercise the power under subsection (6)(b) to make regulations so as to secure that adoption authorities provide financial support.

Subsection (8) states that the references in this Chapter to adoption are to the adoption of persons wherever they may be habitually resident, effected under the law of any country or territory.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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