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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 144: Northern Ireland Adoption and Children Act Register

Subsection (1) places a duty on the Department to establish and maintain a register, to be called the Northern Ireland Adoption and Children Act Register, containing details of children who are suitable for adoption, children for whom an adoption authority is considering adoption and prospective adopters who are suitable to adopt a child. Regulations will provide what information will be held about the children who are suitable, or being considered, for adoption and prospective adopters. It will also contain additional prescribed information about such persons in respect of events occurring to them after their inclusion in the register (subsection (1)(b)). This provision may be used, for example, to enable the register to record information about the stability of adoptive placements.

Subsection (2) enables the Department to make regulations in order for the register to contain prescribed information about children an adoption agency in Great Britain is satisfied are suitable for adoption, prescribed information about prospective adopters who a Great Britain adoption agency is satisfied are suitable to adopt a child, and additional prescribed information about such persons in respect of events occurring to them after their inclusion in the register.

Subsection (3) enables the regulations to apply any of the provisions in sections 145 to 151, with or without modification, for the purpose of giving assistance in finding persons with whom children may be placed for purposes other than adoption. This provision may be used to extend the remit of the system to cover children needing other types of placements.

The Register will not be open to public inspection or search and regulations will make provision about retention of information. Information will be kept in the Register in any form the Department considers appropriate, but is most likely to be held electronically (subsections (4) to (6)).

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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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