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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 117: Article 8 orders: authority foster parents

Section 117 amends Article 9 of the Children Order to reduce the time period a child is required to have lived with a foster carer from three years to one year, before a foster carer is permitted to seek an order under Article 8.

Article 9(3) of the Children Order provides that authority foster carers may not seek leave of the court to apply for an Article 8 order (including a residence order) in respect of a child unless they have the consent of the authority, they are a relative of the child, or the child has been living with them for three years preceding the application. Paragraph 4 of Article 9 provides that the 3 year period mentioned in the paragraph 3(c) need not be continuous but must have begun more than 5 years before the making of the application.

Section 117(a) replaces the period of three years in Article 9(3)(c) with a period of one year and section 117(b) provides that Article 9(4) shall be omitted. The intention is to align the position with the residence requirement for authority foster carers who wish to adopt a child living with them.

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