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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 14: Inspection of premises, etc.

Section 14 provides for a person authorised by the Department to inspect any premises where a child who has been placed by an adoption agency, or a child in respect of whom a notice of intention to adopt has been given under section 41, is or will be living. Subsection (4) enables a person carrying out an inspection of premises under subsection (1) to visit the child there and examine the state of the premises and the treatment of the child. Subsection (2) enables the Department to require an adoption agency to give it information and access to records (in whatever form) relating to the discharge of its functions in relation to adoption. Subsection (5) provides for the inspection of any computer and associated apparatus being used in connection with an adoption agency's records.

Subsection (3) provides that inspections under this section must be conducted by a person authorised by the Department and subsection (6) gives any such authorised person a right of entry to premises at any reasonable time and a right to request reasonable assistance. The authorised person must, if required, produce documentation showing their authority to carry out the inspection (subsection (7)). Obstructing a person authorised to inspect premises or records is an offence, punishable on summary conviction by a fine up to level 3 on the standard scale (subsection (8)).

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