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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 88: The special restrictions

Section 88 makes provision for the special restrictions that may be applied by virtue of section 86. Subsection (1) provides that the Department is not to take any step which it may otherwise have taken to further the bringing of a child into the United Kingdom in the cases specified in section 86(2).

The effect of the restrictions is that the Department would no longer process intercountry adoption cases from the restricted country. The steps referred to would include, for example, the issuing of a certificate of eligibility to adopt and the forwarding of matching reports from the child's country of origin to the prospective adopters by those acting on behalf of the Department.

Subsection (2) also provides, however, for adoptions to be permitted to continue in exceptional cases, that is, cases where the prospective adopters or adopters are able to satisfy the Department that the adoption should proceed. Subsection (3) allows regulations to provide for the procedure to be followed by the Department in the consideration of exceptional cases and a non-exhaustive list of matters that must be taken into account.

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