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Adoption Bill




Amend the law on adoption.

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:-

Adoption across local authority boundaries.     1. - (1) Section 57A of the Adoption Act 1976 is amended as follows.
      (2) In subsection (1), for the word "may" there is substituted the word "shall".
      (3) After subsection (3) there is inserted-
    "(3A) The regulations shall provide that, in cases where a local authority is looking after a child, or making arrangements for a child as part of its adoption service, and that child is then adopted by a person or persons whose place of residence is in the area of another local authority, the first authority shall, for a period of time after the placement of the child with the adopters, reimburse the second authority the cost of any allowances paid under this section.
      (3B) The regulations shall prescribe the length of the period of time referred to in subsection (3A) above, and before determining the length of that period the Secretary of State shall consult such persons and organisations as he thinks appropriate.".
Appeals.     2. - (1) An adoptive parent or a prospective adoptive parent may appeal against any decision taken by an adoption agency, in pursuance of its functions relating to adoption under any enactment, which materially affects his interests or those of a child whom he has adopted or proposes to adopt.
      (2) The guardian ad litem for a child may appeal against any decision taken by an adoption agency, in pursuance of its functions relating to adoption under any enactment, which materially affects the interests of that child.
      (3) An appeal under subsection (1) or (2) may be made-
    (a) in the case of an adoption agency in Wales, to the Children's Commissioner for Wales; or
    (b) in the case of an adoption agency in England, to the National Care Standards Commission's children's rights director.
      (4) The appropriate appeal body may require the adoption agency to produce all relevant records, and may uphold, redetermine or quash the decision being appealed against, and direct the adoption agency concerned to act in accordance with its judgement.
      (5) In this section and in section 3, "adoption agency" has the meaning given in section 1 of the Adoption Act 1976.
Assessment of children for adoption.     3. - (1) The Secretary of State shall by regulations make provision for the carrying out by adoption agencies of their functions of making arrangements for the assessment of children and prospective adopters, and the placing of children for adoption.
      (2) The regulations shall require adoption agencies to maintain a full set of records for each child who has been or is being provided with services as part of that agency's adoption service.
      (3) The regulations shall also set time limits for the assessment by adoption agencies of children for adoption, and may set different time limits for children-
    (a) of different ages; and
    (b) in different circumstances.
      (4) Regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument.
      (5) A statutory instrument made under this section shall be subject to annulment by resolution of either House of Parliament.
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