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The Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987

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The Adoption ServiceN.I.

The Adoption ServiceN.I.

3.—(1) [F1It shall be the duty of—

(aa)an [F2HSC trust] in relation to its area;

(bb)a Board in relation to so much of its area as does not fall within the area of an [F2HSC trust],

to establish and maintain] a service designed to meet the needs, in relation to adoption, of—

(a)children who have been or may be adopted;

(b)parents and guardians of such children; and

(c)persons who have adopted or may adopt a child,

and for that purpose[F1 to provide] the requisite facilities, or secure that they are provided by[F3appropriate voluntary organisations].

(2) The facilities to be provided as part of the service maintained under paragraph (1) include—

(a)temporary board and lodging where needed by pregnant women, mothers or children;

(b)arrangements for assessing children and prospective adopters, and placing children for adoption;

(c)counselling for persons with problems relating to adoption.

[F4(2A) In this Part references to adoption are to the adoption of children, wherever they may be habitually resident, effected under the law of any country or territory, whether within or outside the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.]

(3) The service maintainedF5. . . under paragraph (1) may be collectively referred to as “the Adoption Service”, and a Board[F1, an [F2HSC trust]] or[F6an appropriate voluntary organisation] may be referred to as an adoption agency.

Adoption societiesN.I.

Registration of adoption societiesN.I.

4.  F7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Cancellation of registrationN.I.

5.—(1) F8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2) [F9Where, by virtue of the cancellation of the registration of any person under Part III of the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, a body has ceased to be an appropriate voluntary organisation], the Department may direct the bodyF10. . . to make such arrangements as to children who are in its care and other transitional matters as seem to the Department expedient.

Procedure and right of appeal where registration refused or cancelledN.I.

6.  F11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Inspection of books, etc., of registered adoption societiesN.I.

7.  F12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Inactive or defunct adoption societiesN.I.

8.—(1) If it appears to the Department that a [F13body which is or has been an appropriate voluntary organisation] is inactive or defunct, the Department may, in relation to any child who is or was in the care of the[F14organisation], direct a Board[F15 or [F16HSC trust]] to take such action as might have been taken by the[F14organisation] or by the[F14organisation] jointly with some other body (including a Board[F15 or [F16HSC trust]]).

(2) Before giving a direction under paragraph (1), the Department shall, if practicable, consult both the [F14organisation] and the Board[F15 or [F16HSC trust]].

Welfare of childrenN.I.

Duty to promote welfare of childN.I.

9.  In deciding on any course of action in relation to the adoption of a child, a court or adoption agency shall regard the welfare of the child as the most important consideration and shall—

(a)have regard to all the circumstances, full consideration being given to—

(i)the need to be satisfied that adoption, or adoption by a particular person or persons, will be in the best interests of the child; and

(ii)the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child th roughout his childhood; and

(iii)the importance of providing the child with a stable and harmonious home; and

(b)so far as practicable, first ascertain the wishes and feelings of the child regarding the decision and give due consideration to them, having regard to his age and understanding.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)


Regulation of adoption agenciesN.I.

10.—(1) Regulations may make provision for any purpose relating to the exercise by adoption agencies of their functions in connection with the adoption of children.

[F17(1A) Regulations under paragraph (1) may in particular make, in relation to an appropriate voluntary organisation any provision which regulations under Article 23(2) or (7) of the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 may make in relation to a fostering agency (within the meaning of that Order).]

(2) Regulations may make the contravention of any regulation an offence punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

Restriction on arranging adoptions and placing childrenN.I.

11.—(1) A person other than an adoption agency shall not make arrangements for the adoption of a child, or place a child for adoption, unless—

(a)he is a parent of the child and the proposed adopter, or one of the proposed adopters, is a relative of the child; or

(b)he is acting in pursuance of an order of the High Court.

(2) An adoption society approved as respects England and WalesF18 under section 3 of the Adoption Act 1976 or as respects Scotland [F19a registered adoption service provided as mentioned in paragraph 8(1) of schedule 12 to the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and registered under Part 5 of that Act], but which is not[F20an appropriate voluntary organisation] , shall not act as an adoption society in Northern Ireland except to the extent that [F21it] considers it necessary to do so in the interests of a person mentioned in section 1 of that Act of 1976 or, as the case may be, [F22section 1(3) of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007].

(3) A person who—

(a)takes part in the management or control of a body of persons which exists wholly or partly for the purpose of making arrangements for the adoption of children and[F23 which is not—

(i)a Board or HSS trust; or

(ii)a voluntary adoption agency within the meaning of the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 in respect of which he is registered;]

; or

(b)contravenes paragraph (1); or

(c)receives a child placed with him in contravention of paragraph (1);

shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

(4) In any proceedings for an offence under paragraph (2)(a) proof of things done or of words written, spoken, or published (whether or not in the presence of any party to the proceedings) by any person taking part in the management or control of a body of persons, or in making arrangements for the adoption of children on behalf of the body, shall be admissible as evidence of the purpose for which that body exists.

Para. (5) rep by 1995 NI 2

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