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The Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987

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Status conferred by adoptionN.I.

40.—(1) An adopted child shall be treated in law—

(a)where the adopters are a married couple, as if he had been born as a child of the marriage (whether or not he was in fact born after the marriage was solemnized);

[F1(aa)where the adopters are two people who are civil partners of each other, as if the child had been born as a child of the civil partnership (whether or not the child was in fact born after the formation of the civil partnership);]

(b)in any other case, as if he had been born to the [F2adopters or] adopter in wedlock (but not as a child of any actual marriage of the [F2adopters or] adopter).

(2) An adopted child shall, subject to[F3 paragraphs (3) and (3A)], be treated in law as if he were not the child of any person other than the adopters or adopter.

(3) Paragraph (2)—

(a)does not apply for the purposes of the Table in Article 18(1) of the Family Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1984F4[F5 or for the purposes of Schedule 12 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004] (prohibited degrees of relationship); and

(b)in the case of a child adopted by one of its natural parents as sole adoptive parent, has no effect as respects entitlement to property depending on relationship to that parent, or as respects anything else depending on that relationship.

[F3(3A) Where, in the case of a Convention adoption, the High Court is satisfied, on an application under this paragraph—

(a)that under the law of the country in which the adoption was effected the adoption is not a full adoption;

(b)that the consents referred to in Article 4(c) and (d) of the Convention have not been given for a full adoption, or that the United Kingdom is not the receiving State (within the meaning of Article 2 of the Convention); and

(c)that it would be more favourable to the adopted child for a direction to be given under this paragraph,

the High Court may direct that paragraph (2) shall not apply, or shall not apply to such extent as may be specified in the direction.

(3B) In paragraph (3A) “full adoption” means an adoption by virtue of which the adopted child falls to be treated in law as if he were not the child of any person other than the adopters or adopter.

(3C) The following provisions of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (NI 4)—

(a)Article 35 (provisions relating to the Attorney-General); and

(b)Article 36 (supplementary provisions as to declarations),

shall apply in relation to, and to an application for, a direction under paragraph (3A) as they apply in relation to, and to an application for, a declaration under Part V of that Order.]

(4) It is hereby declared that this Article prevents an adopted child from being illegitimate.

(5) This Article has effect—

(a)in the case of an adoption before the commencement of this Part from that time, and

(b)in the case of any other adoption, from the date of the adoption.

[F6(5A) But paragraph (1)(aa) applies only as from 13th January 2020, even in the case of an adoption before that date.]

(6) Subject to the provisions of this Part, this Article—

(a)applies for the construction of statutory provisions or instruments passed or made before the adoption or later, and so applies subject to any contrary indication; and

(b)has effect as respects things done, or events occurring, after the adoption, or after the commencement of this Part, whichever is the later.

[F7(7) For the purposes of the application of paragraph (6) in a case within paragraph (1)(aa), the reference in paragraph (6)(b) to the commencement of this Part is to be read as a reference to 12th January 2020.]

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