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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 86: Declaration of special restrictions on adoptions from abroad

Section 86 makes provision regarding the restriction of intercountry adoptions from countries where the Department has determined that it would be contrary to public policy to further the bringing of children into the United Kingdom by British residents in the cases specified in subsection (2). The provisions apply equally to adoptions from countries that are signatories to the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, concluded at The Hague on 29th May 1993, and those that are not.

Subsection (2) provides that the cases to which the section applies are, under paragraph (a), where a British resident wishes to bring or cause another person to bring a child who is not a British resident into the United Kingdom for the purposes of adoption by the British resident and there have been, or would have to be, some proceedings in the country that has given rise to the concern or dealings with authorities or agencies there; and, under paragraph (b), where a British resident wishes to bring or to cause another to bring a child into the United Kingdom having adopted the child abroad within 12 months of the date on which they bring the child in. The term British resident is defined in subsection (8).

Subsection (3) provides that the suspension is achieved through a declaration made by order by the Department that ‘special restrictions’ are to apply in relation to bringing children into the United Kingdom in the cases specified in subsection (2). The Department must publish the reasons for making the declaration in relation to each restricted country (subsection (5)) and must publish a list of restricted countries, the ‘restricted list’, which it must keep up to date (subsection (6)). Subsection (7) requires publication of both the restricted list and the reasons in whatever way the Department thinks appropriate for bringing them to the attention of adoption agencies and members of the public.

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