Search Legislation

Adoption and Children Act 2002

 Help about what version

What Version

 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

Changes to legislation:

Adoption and Children Act 2002, Chapter 4 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 07 October 2022. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

View outstanding changes

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters:

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

  • s. 4A inserted by 2014 c. 6 s. 5
  • s. 141(7) inserted by 2010 c. 26 Sch. 3 para. 13 (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 3 Pt. 2 repealed (4.9.2013) without ever being in force by 2013 c. 22, s. 17(4) ; S.I. 2013/2200 art. 2(a))

Chapter 4U.K.Status of Adopted Children

66 Meaning of adoption in Chapter 4U.K.

(1)In this Chapter “adoption” means—

(a)adoption by an adoption order or a Scottish or Northern Irish adoption order,

(b)adoption by an order made in the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands,

(c)an adoption effected under the law of a Convention country outside the British Islands, and certified in pursuance of Article 23(1) of the Convention (referred to in this Act as a “Convention adoption”),

(d)an overseas adoption, or

(e)an adoption recognised by the law of England and Wales and effected under the law of any other country;

and related expressions are to be interpreted accordingly.

(2)But references in this Chapter to adoption do not include an adoption effected before the day on which this Chapter comes into force (referred to in this Chapter as “the appointed day”).

(3)Any reference in an enactment to an adopted person within the meaning of this Chapter includes a reference to an adopted child within the meaning of Part 4 of the Adoption Act 1976 (c. 36).

Commencement Information

I1S. 66 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

67 Status conferred by adoptionU.K.

(1)An adopted person is to be treated in law as if born as the child of the adopters or adopter.

(2)An adopted person is the legitimate child of the adopters or adopter and, if adopted by—

(a)a couple, or

(b)one of a couple under section 51(2),

is to be treated as the child of the relationship of the couple in question.

(3)An adopted person—

(a)if adopted by one of a couple under section 51(2), is to be treated in law as not being the child of any person other than the adopter and the other one of the couple, and

(b)in any other case, is to be treated in law, subject to subsection (4), as not being the child of any person other than the adopters or adopter;

but this subsection does not affect any reference in this Act to a person’s natural parent or to any other natural relationship.

(4)In the case of a person adopted by one of the person’s natural parents as sole adoptive parent, subsection (3)(b) has no effect as respects entitlement to property depending on relationship to that parent, or as respects anything else depending on that relationship.

(5)This section has effect from the date of the adoption.

(6)Subject to the provisions of this Chapter and Schedule 4, this section—

(a)applies for the interpretation of enactments or instruments passed or made before as well as after the adoption, and so applies subject to any contrary indication, and

(b)has effect as respects things done, or events occurring, on or after the adoption.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I2S. 67 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

68 Adoptive relativesU.K.

(1)A relationship existing by virtue of section 67 may be referred to as an adoptive relationship, and—

(a)an adopter may be referred to as an adoptive parent or (as the case may be) as an adoptive father or adoptive mother,

(b)any other relative of any degree under an adoptive relationship may be referred to as an adoptive relative of that degree.

(2)Subsection (1) does not affect the interpretation of any reference, not qualified by the word “adoptive”, to a relationship.

(3)A reference (however expressed) to the adoptive mother and father of a child adopted by—

(a)a couple of the same sex, or

(b)a partner of the child’s parent, where the couple are of the same sex,

is to be read as a reference to the child’s adoptive parents.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I3S. 68 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

69 Rules of interpretation for instruments concerning propertyU.K.

(1)The rules of interpretation contained in this section apply (subject to any contrary indication and to Schedule 4) to any instrument so far as it contains a disposition of property.

(2)In applying section 67(1) and (2) to a disposition which depends on the date of birth of a child or children of the adoptive parent or parents, the disposition is to be interpreted as if—

(a)the adopted person had been born on the date of adoption,

(b)two or more people adopted on the same date had been born on that date in the order of their actual births;

but this does not affect any reference to a person’s age.

(3)Examples of phrases in wills on which subsection (2) can operate are—

  • 1. Children of A “living at my death or born afterwards”.

  • 2. Children of A “living at my death or born afterwards before any one of such children for the time being in existence attains a vested interest and who attain the age of 21 years”.

  • 3. As in example 1 or 2, but referring to grandchildren of A instead of children of A.

  • 4. A for life “until he has a child”, and then to his child or children.

  • Note. Subsection (2) will not affect the reference to the age of 21 years in example 2.

(4)Section 67(3) does not prejudice—

(a)any qualifying interest, F1...

(b)any interest expectant (whether immediately or not) upon a qualifying interest[F2, or

(c)any contingent interest (other than a contingent interest in remainder) which the adopted person has immediately before the adoption in the estate of a deceased parent, whether testate or intestate.]

Qualifying interest” means an interest vested in possession in the adopted person before the adoption.

(5)Where it is necessary to determine for the purposes of a disposition of property effected by an instrument whether a woman can have a child—

(a)it must be presumed that once a woman has attained the age of 55 years she will not adopt a person after execution of the instrument, and

(b)if she does so, then (in spite of section 67) that person is not to be treated as her child or (if she does so as one of a couple) as the child of the other one of the couple for the purposes of the instrument.

(6)In this section, “instrument” includes a private Act settling property, but not any other enactment.

Textual Amendments

F1Word in s. 69(4) omitted (1.10.2014) by virtue of Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014 (c. 16), ss. 4(1)(a), 12(2) (with s. 4(2)); S.I. 2014/2039, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I4S. 69 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

70 Dispositions depending on date of birthU.K.

(1)Where a disposition depends on the date of birth of a person who was born illegitimate and who is adopted by one of the natural parents as sole adoptive parent, section 69(2) does not affect entitlement by virtue of Part 3 of the Family Law Reform Act 1987 (c. 42) (dispositions of property).

(2)Subsection (1) applies for example where—

(a)a testator dies in 2001 bequeathing a legacy to his eldest grandchild living at a specified time,

(b)his unmarried daughter has a child in 2002 who is the first grandchild,

(c)his married son has a child in 2003,

(d)subsequently his unmarried daughter adopts her child as sole adoptive parent.

In that example the status of the daughter’s child as the eldest grandchild of the testator is not affected by the events described in paragraphs (c) and (d).

Commencement Information

I5S. 70 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

71 Property devolving with peerages etc.U.K.

(1)An adoption does not affect the descent of any peerage or dignity or title of honour.

(2)An adoption does not affect the devolution of any property limited (expressly or not) to devolve (as nearly as the law permits) along with any peerage or dignity or title of honour.

(3)Subsection (2) applies only if and so far as a contrary intention is not expressed in the instrument, and has effect subject to the terms of the instrument.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I6S. 71 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

72 Protection of trustees and personal representativesU.K.

(1)A trustee or personal representative is not under a duty, by virtue of the law relating to trusts or the administration of estates, to enquire, before conveying or distributing any property, whether any adoption has been effected or revoked if that fact could affect entitlement to the property.

(2)A trustee or personal representative is not liable to any person by reason of a conveyance or distribution of the property made without regard to any such fact if he has not received notice of the fact before the conveyance or distribution.

(3)This section does not prejudice the right of a person to follow the property, or any property representing it, into the hands of another person, other than a purchaser, who has received it.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I7S. 72 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

73 Meaning of dispositionU.K.

(1)This section applies for the purposes of this Chapter.

(2)A disposition includes the conferring of a power of appointment and any other disposition of an interest in or right over property; and in this subsection a power of appointment includes any discretionary power to transfer a beneficial interest in property without the furnishing of valuable consideration.

(3)This Chapter applies to an oral disposition as if contained in an instrument made when the disposition was made.

(4)The date of death of a testator is the date at which a will or codicil is to be regarded as made.

(5)The provisions of the law of intestate succession applicable to the estate of a deceased person are to be treated as if contained in an instrument executed by him (while of full capacity) immediately before his death.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I8S. 73 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

74 Miscellaneous enactmentsU.K.

(1)Section 67 does not apply for the purposes of—

[F3(a)section 1 of and Schedule 1 to the Marriage Act 1949 or Schedule 1 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (prohibited degrees of kindred and affinity),] [F4or

(b)sections 64 and 65 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (sex with an adult relative).]

(2)Section 67 does not apply for the purposes of any provision of—

(a)the British Nationality Act 1981 (c. 61),

(b)the Immigration Act 1971 (c. 77),

(c)any instrument having effect under an enactment within paragraph (a) or (b), or

(d)any other provision of the law for the time being in force which determines British citizenship, British overseas territories citizenship, the status of a British National (Overseas) or British Overseas citizenship.

Textual Amendments

F4S. 74(1)(b) and word substituted for s. 74(1)(b)(c) (1.5.2004) by Sexual Offences Act 2003 (c. 42), s. 141, Sch. 6 para. 47; S.I. 2004/874, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C8S. 74 restricted by 2003 c. 42, s. 64(6)(b) (as inserted (8.7.2008) by Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (c. 4), s. 153(2)(e), Sch. 15 para. 5(5))

C9S. 74 restricted by 2003 c. 42, s. 65(6)(b) (as inserted (8.7.2008) by Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (c. 4), s. 153(2)(e), Sch. 15 para. 6(5))

Commencement Information

I9S. 74 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

75 PensionsU.K.

Section 67(3) does not affect entitlement to a pension which is payable to or for the benefit of a person and is in payment at the time of the person’s adoption.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I10S. 75 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

76 InsuranceU.K.

(1)Where a child is adopted whose natural parent has effected an insurance with a friendly society or a collecting society or an industrial insurance company for the payment on the death of the child of money for funeral expenses, then—

(a)the rights and liabilities under the policy are by virtue of the adoption transferred to the adoptive parents, and

(b)for the purposes of the enactments relating to such societies and companies, the adoptive parents are to be treated as the person who took out the policy.

(2)Where the adoption is effected by an order made by virtue of section 51(2), the references in subsection (1) to the adoptive parents are to be read as references to the adopter and the other one of the couple.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I11S. 76 in force at 30.12.2005 by S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(d) (with savings and transitional provisions in S.I. 2005/2897, arts. 3-16)

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government 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 were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different points in time where a change occurred. The dates will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. The first date in the timeline will usually be the earliest date when the provision came into force. In some cases the first date is 01/02/1991 (or for Northern Ireland legislation 01/01/2006). This date is our basedate. No versions before this date are available. For further information see the Editorial Practice Guide and Glossary under Help.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources