Adoption of Children Act 1926

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1926 c. 29


Adoption of Children Act, 1926

(16 & 17 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 29.

An Act to make provision for the adoption of infants.

[4th August 1926]

Be it enacted by the King'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:—

S-1 Power to make adoption orders.

1 Power to make adoption orders.

(1) Upon an application in the prescribed manner by any person desirous of being authorised to adopt an infant who has never been married, the Court may, subject to the provisions of this Act, make an order (in this Act referred to as ‘an adoption order’) authorising the applicant to adopt that infant.

(2) A person so authorised to adopt the infant and an infant authorised to be adopted are in this Act referred to as an ‘adopter’ and an ‘adopted child’ respectively, and ‘infant’ means a person under the age of twenty-one.

(3) Where an application for an adoption order is made by two spouses jointly, the Court may make the order authorising the two spouses jointly to adopt, but save as aforesaid no adoption order shall be made authorising more than one person to adopt an infant.

S-2 Restrictions on making adoption orders.

2 Restrictions on making adoption orders.

(1) An adoption order shall not be made in any case where—

(a ) the applicant is under the age of twenty-five years, or

(b ) the applicant is less than twenty-one years older than the infant in respect of whom the application is made:

Provided that, where the applicant and the infant are within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity, it shall be lawful for the court, if it thinks fit, to make the order notwithstanding that the applicant is less than twenty-one years older than the infant.

(2) An adoption order shall not be made in any case where the sole applicant is a male and the infant in respect of whom the application is made is a female unless the Court is satisfied that there are special circumstances which justify as an exceptional measure the making of an adoption order.

(3) An adoption order shall not be made except with the consent of every person or body who is a parent or guardian of the infant in respect of whom the application is made or who has the actual custody of the infant or who is liable to contribute to the support of the infant:

Provided that the Court may dispense with any consent required by this subsection if satisfied that the person whose consent is to be dispensed with has abandoned or deserted the infant or cannot be found or is incapable of giving such consent or, being a person liable to contribute to the support of the infant, either has persistently neglected or refused to contribute to such support or is a person whose consent ought, in the opinion of the court and in all the circumstances of the case, to be dispensed with.

(4) An adoption order shall not be made upon the application of one of two spouses without the consent of the other of them:

Provided that the court may dispense with any consent required by this subsection if satisfied that the person whose consent is to be dispensed with cannot be found or is incapable of giving such consent or that the spouses have separated and are living apart and that the separation is likely to be permanent.

(5) An adoption order shall not be made in favour of any applicant who is not resident and domiciled in England or Wales or in respect of any infant who (s not a British subject and so resident.

S-3 Matters with respect to which Court to be satisfied.

3 Matters with respect to which Court to be satisfied.

3. The Court before making an adoption order shall be satisfied—

a ) that every person whose consent is necessary under this Act and whose consent is not dispensed with has consented to and understands the nature and effect of the adoption order for which application is made, and in particular in the case of any parent understands that the effect of the adoption order will be permanently to deprive him or her of his or her parental rights; and
b ) that the order if made will be for the welfare of the infant, due consideration being for this purpose given to the wishes of the infant, having regard to the age and understanding of the infant; and
c ) that the applicant has not received or agreed to receive, and that no person has made or given or agreed to make or give to the applicant, any payment or other reward in consideration of the adoption except such as the court may sanction
S-4 Terms and condition of order.

4 Terms and condition of order.

4. The Court in an adoption order may impose such terms and conditions as the Court may think fit and in particular may require the adopter by bond or otherwise to make for the adopted child such provision (if any) as in the opinion of the Court is just and expedient.

S-5 Effect of adoption order.

5 Effect of adoption order.

(1) Upon an adoption order being made, all rights, duties, obligations and liabilities of the parent or parents, guardian or guardians of the adopted child, in relation to the future custody, maintenance and education of the adopted child, including all rights to appoint a guardian or to consent or give notice of dissent to marriage shall be extinguished, and all such rights, duties, obligations and liabilities shall vest in and be exercisable by and enforceable against the adopter as though the adopted child was a child born to the adopter in lawful wedlock, and in respect of the same matters and in respect of the liability of a child to maintain its parents the adopted child shall stand to the adopter exclusively in the position of a child born to the adopter in lawful wedlock:

Provided that, in any case where two spouses are the adopters, such spouses shall in respect of the matters aforesaid and for the purpose of the jurisdiction of any court to make orders as to the custody and maintenance of and right of access to children stand to each other and to the adopted child in the same relation as they would have stood if they had been the lawful father and mother of the adopted child, and the adopted child shall stand to them respectively in the same relation as a child would have stood to a lawful father and mother respectively.

(2) An adoption order shall not deprive the adopted child of any right to or interest in property to which, but for the order, the child would have been entitled under any intestacy or disposition, whether occurring or made before or after the making of the adoption order, or confer on the adopted child any right to or interest in property as a child of the adopter, and the expressions...

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