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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 59: Disclosing information to adopted adult

Section 59 makes provision for the disclosure of information held by adoption agencies and courts to adopted adults. It gives the adopted adult the right under subsection (2)(a) to receive any information held by the adoption agency necessary to enable him to obtain a certified copy of his or her birth record, unless the High Court orders otherwise. Under subsection (3), the High Court may make an order on application from the adoption agency to withhold this information if it believes that the circumstances are exceptional. An example of when the High Court may exercise this power is where it is considered that disclosure would lead to a serious crime being committed. Subsection (2)(b) allows the adopted adult to receive prescribed information his or her adoptive parents received under section 53. Under subsection (4) the adopted person has the right to request from the court a copy of a prescribed document or prescribed order relating to his or her adoption. Subsection (6) provides that ‘prescribed document or order” means prescribed by rules of court. Under subsection (5) the documents which the adopted person may request from the court will not contain protected information.

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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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