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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 63: Other provision to be made by regulations

Section 63 provides for regulation making powers which will provide for the balancing of the rights of individuals, and the operation of the new duties for adoption agencies and the Registrar General under sections 55 to 64. Subsection (1) provides a power to make regulations concerning the operation by adoption agencies of their functions under sections 55 to 64, and the manner in which information may be received by adoption agencies.

Subsection (2) provides a power to make regulations for the recording of agreements made by virtue of section 56(5) and the information to be provided on an application for the disclosure of information under these provisions.

Subsection (3) provides a power to make regulations requiring adoption agencies to give prescribed persons prescribed information about their rights or opportunities to obtain information or to give their views as to its disclosure. For example, adoption agencies must inform the birth parents and adoptive parents at the time of the placement of the child of the rights of individuals to request protected information.

Under subsection (3)(b), regulations may be made to require adoption agencies to seek prescribed information from, or give prescribed information to, the Registrar General. Adoption agencies will be required to obtain information held on the adopted person's birth record from the Registrar General, if the agency receives a request from the adopted person for that information.

Subsection (4) provides a power to make regulations to require the Registrar General to disclose to any person any information which they need to help them contact the appropriate adoption agency (defined in section 64) and to disclose to the appropriate adoption agency information required by that agency about an entry relating to the adopted person on the Adoption Contact Register. This may assist the adoption agency in ascertaining the wishes of an adopted person or of a particular relative in relation to contact with the other party.

Subsection (5) provides a power to make regulations for the payment of fees to the adoption agency by anybody who applies to the agency under sections 59, 60 or 61 for information. The exception is that the adopted person cannot be charged in respect of any information disclosed to him under this group of sections about any person who but for the adopted person’s adoption would be related to him or her by blood, including half-blood, marriage or civil partnership.

Subsection (6) provides a power to make regulations for the payment of a fee by an adoption agency to the Registrar General for disclosure of information from the Adoption Contact Register.

Subsection (7) requires the approval of the Department of Finance to the making of regulations under subsections (3) to (6) which relate to the Registrar General.

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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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