Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act 1999

Cited as:1999 c. 18
Jurisdiction:UK Non-devolved


Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act 1999

1999 CHAPTER 18

An Act to make provision for giving effect to the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, concluded at the Hague on 29th May 1993; to make further provision in relation to adoptions with an international element; and for connected purposes.

[27th July 1999]

Be it 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:—

Implementation of Convention

Implementation of Convention

S-1 Regulations giving effect to Convention.

1 Regulations giving effect to Convention.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, regulations made by the Secretary of State may make provision for giving effect to the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption concluded at the Hague on 29th May 1993 (‘the Convention’).

(2) The text of the Convention (so far as material) is set out in Schedule 1 to this Act.

(3) Regulations under this section may—

(a) apply, with or without modifications, any provision of the enactments relating to adoption

(b) provide that any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of the regulations is to be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both

(c) make different provision for different purposes or areas; and

(d) make such incidental, supplementary, consequential or transitional provision as appears to the Secretary of State to be expedient.

(4) Regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), any power to make subordinate legislation under or for the purposes of the enactments relating to adoption includes power to do so with a view to giving effect to the provisions of the Convention.

(6) Subsection (5) does not apply in relation to any power which is exercisable by the National Assembly for Wales.

S-2 Central Authorities and accredited bodies.

2 Central Authorities and accredited bodies.

(1) The functions under the Convention of the Central Authority are to be discharged—

(a) separately in relation to England and Scotland by the Secretary of State; and

(b) in relation to Wales by the National Assembly for Wales.

(2) A communication may be sent to the Central Authority in relation to any part of Great Britain by sending it (for forwarding if necessary) to the Central Authority in relation to England.

(3) An approved adoption society is an accredited body for the purposes of the Convention if the approval extends to the provision of facilities in respect of Convention adoptions and adoptions effected by Convention adoption orders.

(4) The functions under Article 9(a) to (c) of the Convention are to be discharged by local authorities and accredited bodies on behalf of the Central Authority.

(5) In this section in its application to England and Wales, ‘approved adoption society’ has the same meaning as in Part I of the Adoption Act 1976 (‘the 1976 Act’); and expressions which are also used in that Act have the same meanings as in that Act.

(6) In this section in its application to Scotland, ‘approved adoption society’ has the same meaning as in section 65(1) (interpretation) of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 (‘the 1978 Act’); and expressions which are also used in that Act have the same meanings as in that Act.

Convention adoptions

Convention adoptions

S-3 Convention adoption orders.

3 Convention adoption orders.

3. For section 17 of the 1976 and 1978 Acts there shall be substituted—

S-17 ‘Convention adoption orders.

17 ‘Convention adoption orders.

17. An adoption order shall be made as a Convention adoption order if—

(a) the application is for a Convention adoption order; and

(b) such requirements as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State are complied with.’

S-4 Effect of Convention adoptions in England and Wales.

4 Effect of Convention adoptions in England and Wales.

(1) In subsection (1) of section 38 of the 1976 Act (meaning of ‘adoption’ for purposes of provisions relating to status of adopted children) after paragraph (c) there shall be inserted—

(1)‘(cc) which is a Convention adoption;’.

(2) In subsection (2) of section 39 of that Act (status conferred by adoption), for ‘subsection (3)’ there shall be substituted ‘subsections (3) and (3A)’.

(3) After subsection (3) of that section there shall be inserted—

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

(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 subsection,

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

In this subsection ‘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.

(3B) The following provisions of the Family Law Act 1986—

(a) section 59 (provisions relating to the Attorney General); and

(b) section 60 (supplementary provision as to declarations),

shall apply in relation to, and to an application for, a direction under subsection (3A) as they apply in relation to, and to an application for, a declaration under Part III of that Act.’

S-5 Effect of Convention adoptions in Scotland.

5 Effect of Convention adoptions in Scotland.

(1) In subsection (1) of section 38 of the 1978 Act (meaning of ‘adoption order’ for purposes of provisions relating to status of adopted children), after paragraph (c) there shall be inserted—

(1)‘(cc) a Convention adoption;’.

(2) In subsection (1) of section 39 of that Act (status conferred by adoption), in sub-paragraph (ii) of each of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), at the beginning there shall be inserted ‘subject to subsection (2A)’.

(3) After subsection (2) of that section there shall be inserted—

(2A) Where, in the case of a child adopted under a Convention adoption, the Court of Session is satisfied, on an application under this subsection—

(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 child for a direction to be given under this subsection,

the Court may direct that sub-paragraph (ii) of, as the case may be, paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (1) shall not apply, or shall not apply to such extent as may be specified in the direction: and in this subsection ‘full adoption’ means an adoption by virtue of which the child falls to be treated in law as if he were not the child of any person other than the adopters or adopter.’

S-6 Annulment of Convention adoptions etc.

6 Annulment of Convention adoptions etc.

(1) For subsection (1) of section 53 of the 1976 Act (annulment etc. of overseas adoptions) there shall be substituted—

(1) The High Court may, on an application under this subsection, by order annul a Convention adoption or a Convention adoption order on the ground that the adoption or order is contrary to public policy.’

and the same amendment shall be made to section 47 of the 1978 Act (corresponding provision for Scotland) except that for ‘the High Court’ there shall substituted ‘the Court of Session’.

(2) In subsection (5) of each of those sections, after ‘validity of’ there shall be inserted ‘a Convention adoption, a Convention adoption order,’.

(3) In subsection (4) of section 54 of the 1976 Act (provisions supplementary to sections 52(3) and 53), and in subsection (4) of section 48 of the 1978 Act (provisions supplementary to sections 46(2) and 47), the definitions of ‘notified provision’ and ‘relevant time’ shall cease to have effect.

(4) For subsection (1) of section 59 of the 1976 Act (effect of determinations and orders made in Scotland and...

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