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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 148: Disclosure of information

Section 148 provides that information entered in the Register may only be disclosed by the Department or the registration organisation in accordance with subsections (2), (3) or (4), section 149 or section 150. Under subsection (6) any information may be released from the Register with the authority of the Department.

Under subsection (2), prescribed information held on the Register may be disclosed by the Department or the registration organisation either to an adoption agency which is looking for suitable adoptive parents with whom to place a child, or to an adoption agency acting on behalf of approved adoptive parents who wish to adopt a child. Under subsection (5), regulations will set out the steps which adoption agencies must take upon receipt of this information.

Subsection (3) provides that regulations may make provision permitting the disclosure of information entered in the register, or compiled from information entered in the register to an adoption agency or a GB adoption agency for any prescribed purpose, or for the purpose of enabling the information to be entered in a register which is maintained in GB and which contains information about children who are suitable for adoption or prospective adopters who are suitable to adopt a child. Subsection (4) enables information either held on the Register or compiled from information held on the Register to be disclosed to prescribed categories of persons for statistical or research purposes or other prescribed purposes. Subsection (8) enables fees to be charged in respect of information given to adoption agencies under subsections (2) and (3) or in respect of information given to prescribed categories of persons for statistical or research purposes, or other prescribed purposes, under subsection (4). Disclosure of information otherwise than in accordance with the provisions set out in this section is an offence, punishable on summary conviction by up to three months' imprisonment or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or both.

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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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