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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Schedule 4: Transitional and transitory provisions and savings

Schedule 4 provides for transitional and transitory provisions and savings.

Provision in this Schedule amends the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 in order to enable changes to the Adoption Service which are introduced by the Act to be implemented in advance of the Act as a whole.

Paragraph 1 makes provision in respect of adoption support services.  Paragraph 1(1) provides that the facilities provided by an HSC trust as part of the service maintained under Article 3(1) of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 include such arrangements as may be required by regulations for the provision of adoption support services to prescribed persons.  Sub-paragraph (2) provides that the regulations made under sub-paragraph (1) may require an HSC Trust, on request, to carry out an assessment of the needs for adoption support services of a prescribed person.  Under sub-paragraph (2)(b), where a person’s needs for adoption support services are identified in an assessment, the trust must decide whether to provide adoption support services to that person.  Where a decision is taken to provide services, in prescribed circumstances, the trust will be required to prepare a plan for the provision of services (sub-paragraph (2)(c)).  The intention is to use these provisions to implement the new framework for adoption support services including financial support early in respect of adoptive families and prospective adoptive families.

Paragraph 6 inserts a new paragraph (1A) into Article 60 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 to make clear that the restrictions on advertising in that Article include publishing an advertisement by electronic means, such as the Internet.  Sub-paragraph 6(b) provides for the penalty on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months 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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