Search Legislation

Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 46: Applications for adoption

Section 46 provides that an application for an adoption order may be made by a couple or one person but only if it is made under section 47 or 48 and one of the following conditions is satisfied. The first condition is that at least one of the couple or the applicant is domiciled in a part of the United Kingdom, any of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (subsection (2)). The second condition is that both of the couple have, or the applicant has, been habitually resident in a part of the United Kingdom, any of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least one year ending with the date of the application (subsection (3)). The term “couple” is defined in section 159(3). An application for an adoption order may only be made if the person to be adopted has not reached age 18 by the date of the application (subsection (4)). Subsection (5) provides that references in this Act to a ‘child’, in connection with any proceedings (whether or not concluded) for adoption (such as “child to be adopted” or “adopted child”) include a person who has attained the age of 18 years before the proceedings are concluded.

Back to top


Print Options


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.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources