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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 96: Restriction on arranging adoptions etc.

Section 96 sets out the steps in relation to arranging an adoption that must not be taken by a person who is not an adoption agency or a person acting in pursuance of an order of the High Court. Subsection (2) lists nine steps that should not be taken, for example seeking, offering or placing a child for adoption. Subsections (3) and (4) provide that certain steps do not apply where one or both of the prospective adopters are parents, relatives or guardians of the child, or where a prospective adopter is a partner of a parent. Subsection (6) enables the Department to make an order amending subsections (1) to (4) where it considers an amendment necessary or expedient. This power could be used, for example, to specify additional steps for inclusion in the list in subsection (2) to further protect the interests and welfare of children or other parties affected by adoption. Subsection (5) allows regulations to be made prescribing who should be treated as an adoption agency in respect of intercountry adoption for the purpose of this provision.

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