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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 29: Recovery by parent etc. where child placed and consent withdrawn

Section 29 applies where a child is placed for adoption with prospective adopters under section 16, and the parent has withdrawn consent, unless an application for a placement order is, or has been made and the application is pending (subsection (1)).

If the parent informs the agency he wishes the child to be returned to him, the agency must give notice to the prospective adopters that the parent wishes the child to be returned to him and the prospective adopters have to return the child to the agency within 7 days of the notice being given to them (subsection (2)). If the prospective adopters do not return the child, they commit an offence and are liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or both (subsection (3)). The agency must return the child to his or her parent within 7 days, beginning with the day the child is returned to the agency (subsection (4)).

If before notice of removal is given, an application for an adoption order in Northern Ireland (or in Great Britain) or for a residence order or special guardianship order, or for leave to apply for these orders in respect of the child has been made and that application has not been disposed of, the prospective adopters do not have to return the child unless the court makes an order to that effect (subsection (5)).

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