Adoption Act 1968

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1968 c. 53
Year1968


Adoption Act 1968

1968 CHAPTER 53

An Act to make provision for extending the powers of courts in the United Kingdom with respect to the adoption of children; for enabling effect to be given in the United Kingdom to adoptions effected in other countries and to determinations of authorities in other countries with respect to adoptions; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[26th July 1968]

Whereas a Convention relating to the adoption of children was concluded at the Hague on 15th November 1965 and was signed on behalf of the United Kingdom on that date:

And whereas, with a view to the ratification by Her Majesty of that Convention and for other purposes, it is expedient to amend the law relating to the adoption of children:

Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Further provision for adoption in Great Britain

Further provision for adoption in Great Britain

S-1 Further power to make adoption orders.

1 Further power to make adoption orders.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the court may, upon an application made in the prescribed manner by a qualified person or qualified spouses, make an order under this section (in this Act referred to as an adoption order) authorising the applicant or applicants to adopt a qualified infant.

(2) An adoption order may be made notwithstanding that the infant is already adopted under an adoption order or otherwise.

S-2 Application of Adoption Act 1958 etc. to adoption orders.

2 Application of Adoption Act 1958 etc. to adoption orders.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Adoption Act 1958 shall have effect as if any reference in that Act to an adoption order within the meaning of that Act, other than a reference in the provisions mentioned in subsection (2) of this section, included a reference to an adoption order within the meaning of this Act.

(2) The aforesaid provisions of the Act of 1958 are sections 1(1) to (4), 9(1) and (5), 10(1), 11(1) and (3), 12(1) and (2), 13(4), 15(5), 16(4), 17(5), 19(2), 20(6), 24(7) and 26(2) and (3).

(3) The Act of 1958 as modified by subsection (1) of this section shall have effect in relation to an adoption order and a proposed adoption order subject to the following further modifications—

(a ) the following provisions shall be omitted, that is to say, section 9(2) to (4) and (6), section 11(2), in section 14(3) the words ‘and be deemed always to have included’ and in section 57(1) the definitions of ‘adoption order’, ‘Adoption Rules’ and ‘infant’;

(b ) any reference to Adoption Rules or the court within the meaning of that Act or to an act of sederunt under that Act shall respectively be construed as a reference to rules and the court within the meaning of this Act and to an act of sederunt under this Act;

(c ) in section 7(1)(a ) the reference to the Act of 1958 shall include a reference to this Act and in section 8(3) the reference to section 3 of that Act shall include a reference to section 3(1) of this Act;

(d ) in section 12, for so much of subsection (1) as precedes paragraph (a ) there shall be substituted the words ‘In relation to an application for an adoption order made by an applicant who is not or applicants who are not ordinarily resident in Great Britain’.

(4) Sections 4 to 6 of the Act of 1958 (which relate to consents) shall not apply to an adoption order proposed to be made in respect of an infant who is not a United Kingdom national.

(5) In any enactment passed before the date on which this subsection comes into force, other than an enactment contained in the Adoption Acts 1958 to 1964, any reference to an adoption order within the meaning of the Act of 1958 or to adoption or a person adopted under that Act or such an order shall respectively be construed as including a reference to, or to adoption or a person adopted under, an adoption order within the meaning of this Act.

S-3 Restrictions on making of adoption orders.

3 Restrictions on making of adoption orders.

(1) An adoption order shall not be made on the application of a person who is not a United Kingdom national or of spouses who are not United Kingdom nationals if the adoption which would be effected by the order is prohibited by a provision of the internal law of the country of which the person is a national or the spouses are nationals, being a provision specified in an order of the Secretary of State as one notified to the Government of the United Kingdom in pursuance of the provisions of the Convention relating to prohibitions on an adoption contained in the national law of the adopter.

(2) An adoption order shall not be made in pursuance of an application made at a time when the applicant or applicants and the infant are United Kingdom nationals and reside in Great Britain or a specified country.

(3) An adoption order shall not be made in respect of an infant who is not a United Kingdom national—

(a ) except in accordance with the provisions, if any, relating to consents and consultations of the internal law relating to adoption of the country of which the infant is a national; and

(b ) where the application for the order is made by one of two spouses, unless the other spouse consents to the application or the court dispenses with his or her consent on being satisfied as to any of the matters mentioned in section 5(4) of the Act of 1958.

(4) The reference to consents and consultations in paragraph (a ) of subsection (3) of this section does not include a reference to consent by and consultation with the applicant for the order and members of the applicant's family (including his or her spouse), and for the purposes of that subsection consents may be proved in the prescribed manner and the court shall be treated as the authority by whom, under the law mentioned in that paragraph, consents may be dispensed with and the adoption in question may be authorised; and where the provisions there mentioned require the attendance before that authority of any person who does not reside in Great Britain, that requirement shall be treated as satisfied for the purposes of the said subsection (3) if—

(a ) that person has been given a reasonable opportunity of communicating his opinion on the adoption in question to the proper officer or clerk of the court, or to an appropriate authority of the country in question, for transmission to the court; and

(b ) where he has availed himself of that opportunity, his opinion has been transmitted to the court.

(5) An adoption order shall not be made unless the applicant for the order is a qualified person or the applicants for the order are qualified spouses not only at the time of the application but also immediately before the order is made.

(6) Except in the case of an adoption by qualified spouses, an adoption order shall not be made authorising more than one person to adopt a qualified infant.

Recognition of adoptions and adoption proceedings taking place overseas

Recognition of adoptions and adoption proceedings taking place overseas

S-4 Extension of enactments to certain adoptions made overseas.

4 Extension of enactments to certain adoptions made overseas.

(1) Subject to sections 5 and 6 of this Act, any provision (however expressed) in any enactment passed before the date on which this section comes into force under which a person adopted in pursuance of an adoption order within the meaning of the Act of 1958 is for any purpose treated as the child of the adopter, or any other relationship is deduced by reference to such an order, shall have effect as respects anything done or any event occurring on or after that date as extending to an overseas adoption.

(2) Subject as aforesaid, the following provisions of the Act of 1958, that is to say, sections 14(2), 15(1) to (4), 17(3), 19(1) and 25 (which relate respectively to insurance for funeral expenses, affiliation orders, distribution of property, citizenship and registers of baptism) and section 23(5) of the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 (which defines ‘adoption order’ for the purposes of Part IV of that Act) shall have effect as if any reference to an adoption order within the meaning of the Act of 1958 included a reference to an overseas adoption.

(3) In this Act ‘overseas adoption’ means an adoption of such a description as the Secretary of State may by order specify, being a description of adoptions of infants appearing to him to be effected under the law of any country outside Great Britain; and an order under this subsection may contain provision as to the manner in which evidence of an overseas adoption may be given.

S-5 Recognition of determinations made overseas in adoption proceedings.

5 Recognition of determinations made overseas in adoption proceedings.

(1) Where an authority of a convention country or a specified country having power under the law of that country—

(a ) to authorise or review the authorisation of a convention adoption or a specified order; or

(b ) to give or review a decision revoking or annulling a convention adoption, a specified order or an adoption order,

makes a determination in the exercise of that power, then, subject to section 6 of this Act and any subsequent determination having effect under this subsection, the determination shall have effect in Great Britain for the purpose of effecting, confirming or terminating the adoption in question or confirming its termination, as the case may be.

(2) In this Act ‘convention adoption’ means an overseas adoption of a description designated by...

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