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8.2 Adoption Legal Framework and Adoption Charter

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

Important note: this list is correct at the time of writing (July 2012). Legislation is subject to change. This list is not a substitute for seeking legal advice, and legal advice should be sought on individual cases as appropriate.

These procedures take legal authority from the following.

Note Statutory Guidance on Adoption: Adoption Panels June 2012

AMENDMENT

This chapter was revised in March 2013 and a new link to the Adoption Charter added.


Contents

  1. Statutes
  2. Statutory Instruments
  3. Standards
  4. Guidance
  5. Equalities
  6. Child's Welfare
  7. Adoption Charter


1. Statutes

  • Adoption Act 1976;
  • Children Act 1989;
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995;
  • Human Rights Act 1998 with particular reference to Article 8;
  • Adoption (Inter-country Aspects) Act 1999;
  • Adoption and Children Act 2002 (as amended);
  • Care Standards Act 2000;
  • Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003;
  • Civil Partnership Act 2004;
  • Children Act 2004;
  • Equality Act 2010.


2. Statutory Instruments

  • The Adopted Children and Adoption Contact Registers Regulations 2005;
  • The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005;
  • The Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Commencement No. 10 Transitional and Savings Provisions) Order 2005;
  • Adoption National Minimum Standards (2011);
  • Adoption Agency and Independent Review of Determinations Regulatory (2011);
  • Adoption Statutory Guidance ADA 2002 (2011);
  • Adoption Statutory Guidance ADA 2002 (2005);
  • The Adoption and Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2005;
  • The Adoption Information and Intermediary Services (Pre-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005;
  • The Adoption Support Agencies (England) and Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2005;
  • The Adoption Support Agencies (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010;
  • The Adoption Support Services Regulations 2005;
  • The Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005;
  • The Care Standards Act 2000 (Commencement No. 9 (England) and Transitional and Savings Provisions) (Amendment) Order 2005;
  • The Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005;
  • The Electronic Commerce Directive (Adoption and Children Act 2002) Regulations 2005;
  • The Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules 2005;
  • The Independent Review of Determinations (Adoption and Fostering) Regulations 2009;
  • The Local Authority Adoption Service (England) Regulations 2003;
  • The Local Authority Adoption Service (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2005;
  • The Restriction on the Preparation of Adoption Reports Regulations 2005;
  • The Special Guardianship Regulations 2005;
  • The Suitability of Adopters Regulations 2005;
  • The Voluntary Adoption Agencies (Amendment) Regulations 2005;
  • The Voluntary Adoption Agencies and the Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2003;
  • The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007;
  • Adoption Agencies (Panel and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2012 (with effect from 1 September 2012).


3. Standards

  • Adoption National Minimum Standards 2011.


4. Guidance

  • Inter-country Adoption Statutory Guidance 2005;
  • Adoption Guidance 2011.


5. Equalities

These procedures are written in line with current equalities legislation and with HCC's policy ‘Putting People First’. (See Equality and Diversity Procedure).


6. Child's Welfare

The paramount consideration must be the child’s welfare, throughout his life. The Adoption Agency must at all times bear in mind that, in general, any delay in coming to a decision is likely to prejudice the child’s welfare.

The Adoption Agency must have regard to the following matters (amongst others):

  • The child’s ascertainable wishes and feeling regarding the decision (considered in the light of the child’s age and understanding);
  • The child’s particular needs;
  • The likely effect on the child (throughout his life) of having ceased to be a member of the original family and become an adopted person;
  • The child’s age, sex, background and any of the child’s characteristics which the court or agency considers relevant;
  • Any harm (within the meaning of the Children Act 1989 (c.41) which the child has suffered or is a risk of suffering.

The relationship which the child has with relatives, and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant, including:

  • The likelihood of any such relationship continuing and the values to the child of its doing so;
  • The ability and willingness of any of the child’s relatives, or of any such person, regarding the child;
  • The wished and feeling of any of the child’s relatives, or of any such person, regarding the child;
  • In placing the child for adoption, the adoption agency must give due consideration to the child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background.


7. Adoption Charter

See Adoption in Hertfordshire - Give a Child a Chance (Hertfordshire County Council website).

This is a Charter that government has required local authorities, who are adoption agencies to sign up to, together with representatives of adoptive parents. It is a commitment to ensure that the Adoption service is developed to provide adoption for those children who require it, and support to them within their adoptive families.

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