(2) The extent of the power to make regulations under this section is not limited
by sections 10 to 12, 54 and 56 to 65 or by any other powers exercisable in
respect of local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies or adoption support
(3) Regulations may provide that a person who contravenes or fails to comply
with any provision of regulations under this section is to be guilty of an offence
and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the
(4) In this section and section 10, “voluntary adoption agency” means a voluntary
organisation which is an adoption society.
10 Management etc. of agencies
(1) In relation to local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and adoption
support agencies, regulations under section 9 may make provision as to—
(a) the persons who are fit to work for them for the purposes of the
functions mentioned in section 9(1),
(b) the fitness of premises,
(c) the management and control of their operations,
(d) the number of persons, or persons of any particular type, working for
the purposes of those functions,
(e) the management and training of persons working for the purposes of
(f) the keeping of information.
(2) Regulations made by virtue of subsection (1)(a) may, in particular, make
provision for prohibiting persons from working in prescribed positions unless
they are registered in, or in a particular part of, one of the registers maintained
under section 56(1) of the Care Standards Act 2000 (c. 14) (registration of social
(3) In relation to voluntary adoption agencies and adoption support agencies,
regulations under section 9 may—
(a) make provision as to the persons who are fit to manage an agency,
including provision prohibiting persons from doing so unless they are
registered in, or in a particular part of, one of the registers referred to in
(b) impose requirements as to the financial position of an agency,
(c) make provision requiring the appointment of a manager in prescribed
(d) in the case of a voluntary adoption agency, make provision for securing
the welfare of children placed by the agency, including provision as to
the promotion and protection of their health,
(e) in the case of an adoption support agency, make provision as to the
persons who are fit to carry on the agency.
(4) Regulations under section 9 may make provision as to the conduct of voluntary
adoption agencies and adoption support agencies, and may in particular make
(a) as to the facilities and services to be provided by an agency,
(b) as to the keeping of accounts,
(c) as to the notification to the registration authority of events occurring in
premises used for the purposes of an agency,
(d) as to the giving of notice to the registration authority of periods during
which the manager of an agency proposes to be absent, and specifying
the information to be given in such a notice,
(e) as to the making of adequate arrangements for the running of an
agency during a period when its manager is absent,
(f) as to the giving of notice to the registration authority of any intended
change in the identity of the manager,
(g) as to the giving of notice to the registration authority of changes in the
ownership of an agency or the identity of its officers,
(h) requiring the payment of a prescribed fee to the registration authority
in respect of any notification required to be made by virtue of
(i) requiring arrangements to be made for dealing with complaints made
by or on behalf of those seeking, or receiving, any of the services
provided by an agency and requiring the agency or manager to take
steps for publicising the arrangements.
(1) Regulations under section 9 may prescribe—
(a) the fees which may be charged by adoption agencies in respect of the
provision of services to persons providing facilities as part of the
Adoption Service (including the Adoption Services in Scotland and
(b) the fees which may be paid by adoption agencies to persons providing
(2) Regulations under section 9 may prescribe the fees which may be charged by
local authorities in respect of the provision of prescribed facilities of the
Adoption Service where the following conditions are met.
(3) The conditions are that the facilities are provided in connection with—
(a) the adoption of a child brought into the United Kingdom for the
purpose of adoption, or
(b) a Convention adoption, an overseas adoption or an adoption effected
under the law of a country or territory outside the British Islands.
12 Independent review of determinations
(1) Regulations under section 9 may establish a procedure under which any
person in respect of whom a qualifying determination has been made by an
adoption agency may apply to a panel constituted by the appropriate Minister
for a review of that determination.
(2) The regulations must make provision as to the description of determinations
which are qualifying determinations for the purposes of subsection (1).
(3) The regulations may include provision as to—
(a) the duties and powers of a panel (including the power to recover the
costs of a review from the adoption agency by which the determination
reviewed was made),
(b) the administration and procedures of a panel,
(c) the appointment of members of a panel (including the number, or any
limit on the number, of members who may be appointed and any
conditions for appointment),
(d) the payment of expenses of members of a panel,
(e) the duties of adoption agencies in connection with reviews conducted
under the regulations,
(f) the monitoring of any such reviews.
(4) The appropriate Minister may make an arrangement with an organisation
under which functions in relation to the panel are performed by the
organisation on his behalf.
(5) If the appropriate Minister makes such an arrangement with an organisation,
the organisation is to perform its functions under the arrangement in
accordance with any general or special directions given by the appropriate
(6) The arrangement may include provision for payments to be made to the
organisation by the appropriate Minister.
(7) Where the appropriate Minister is the Assembly, subsections (4) and (6) also
apply as if references to an organisation included references to the Secretary of
(8) In this section, “organisation” includes a public body and a private or
13 Information concerning adoption
(1) Each adoption agency must give to the appropriate Minister any statistical or
other general information he requires about—
(a) its performance of all or any of its functions relating to adoption,
(b) the children and other persons in relation to whom it has exercised
(2) The following persons—
(a) the justices’ chief executive for each magistrates’ court,
(b) the relevant officer of each county court,
(c) the relevant officer of the High Court,
must give to the appropriate Minister any statistical or other general
information he requires about the proceedings under this Act of the court in
(3) In subsection (2), “relevant officer”, in relation to a county court or the High
Court, means the officer of that court who is designated to act for the purposes
of that subsection by a direction given by the Lord Chancellor.
(4) The information required to be given to the appropriate Minister under this
section must be given at the times, and in the form, directed by him.
(5) The appropriate Minister may publish from time to time abstracts of the
information given to him under this section.
14 Default power of appropriate Minister
(1) If the appropriate Minister is satisfied that any local authority have failed,
without reasonable excuse, to comply with any of the duties imposed on them
by virtue of this Act or of section 1 or 2(4) of the Adoption (Intercountry
Aspects) Act 1999 (c. 18), he may make an order declaring that authority to be
in default in respect of that duty.
(2) An order under subsection (1) must give the appropriate Minister’s reasons for
(3) An order under subsection (1) may contain such directions as appear to the
appropriate Minister to be necessary for the purpose of ensuring that, within
the period specified in the order, the duty is complied with.
(4) Any such directions are enforceable, on the appropriate Minister’s application,
by a mandatory order.
15 Inspection of premises etc.
(1) The appropriate Minister may arrange for any premises in which—
(a) a child is living with a person with whom the child has been placed by
an adoption agency, or
(b) a child in respect of whom a notice of intention to adopt has been given
under section 44 is, or will be, living,
to be inspected from time to time.
(2) The appropriate Minister may require an adoption agency—
(a) to give him any information, or
(b) to allow him to inspect any records (in whatever form they are held),
relating to the discharge of any of its functions in relation to adoption which
the appropriate Minister specifies.
(3) An inspection under this section must be conducted by a person authorised by
the appropriate Minister.
(4) An officer of a local authority may only be so authorised with the consent of
(5) A person inspecting any premises under subsection (1) may—
(a) visit the child there,
(b) make any examination into the state of the premises and the treatment
of the child there which he thinks fit.
(6) A person authorised to inspect any records under this section may at any
reasonable time have access to, and inspect and check the operation of, any
computer (and associated apparatus) which is being or has been used in
connection with the records in question.
(7) A person authorised to inspect any premises or records under this section
(a) enter the premises for that purpose at any reasonable time,
(b) require any person to give him any reasonable assistance he may
(8) A person exercising a power under this section must, if required to do so,
produce a duly authenticated document showing his authority.
(9) Any person who intentionally obstructs another in the exercise of a power
under this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to
a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
16 Distribution of functions in relation to registered adoption societies
After section 36 of the Care Standards Act 2000 there is inserted—
“36A Voluntary adoption agencies: distribution of functions
(1) This section applies to functions relating to voluntary adoption
agencies conferred on the registration authority by or under this Part or
under Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
(2) Subject to the following provisions, functions to which this section
applies are exercisable—
(a) where the principal office of an agency is in England, by the
(b) where the principal office of an agency is in Wales, by the
(3) So far as those functions relate to the imposition, variation or removal
of conditions of registration, they may only be exercised after
consultation with the Assembly or (as the case may be) the
(a) where such a function as is mentioned in subsection (3) is
exercisable by the Commission in relation to an agency which
has a branch in Wales, it is exercisable only with the agreement
of the Assembly,
(b) where such a function as is mentioned in subsection (3) is
exercisable by the Assembly in relation to an agency which has
a branch in England, it is exercisable only with the agreement of
(5) The functions conferred on the registration authority by sections 31 and
32 of this Act in respect of any premises of a voluntary adoption agency
(a) where the premises are in England, by the Commission
(b) where the premises are in Wales, by the Assembly.
(6) In spite of subsections (2) to (5), regulations may provide for any
function to which this section applies to be exercisable by the
Commission instead of the Assembly, or by the Assembly instead of the
Commission, or by one concurrently with the other, or by both jointly
or by either with the agreement of or after consultation with the other.
(7) In this section, “regulations” means regulations relating to England and
(1) The appropriate Minister may cause an inquiry to be held into any matter
connected with the functions of an adoption agency.
(2) Before an inquiry is begun, the appropriate Minister may direct that it is to be
held in private.
(3) Where no direction has been given, the person holding the inquiry may if he
thinks fit hold it, or any part of it, in private.
(4) Subsections (2) to (5) of section 250 of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70)
(powers in relation to local inquiries) apply in relation to an inquiry under this
section as they apply in relation to a local inquiry under that section.
Placement for adoption and adoption orders
Placement of children by adoption agency for adoption
18 Placement for adoption by agencies
(1) An adoption agency may—
(a) place a child for adoption with prospective adopters, or
(b) where it has placed a child with any persons (whether under this Part
or not), leave the child with them as prospective adopters,
but, except in the case of a child who is less than six weeks old, may only do so
under section 19 or a placement order.
(2) A child who is placed or authorised to be placed for adoption with prospective
adopters by a local authority is looked after by the authority.
(3) If an application for an adoption order has been made by any persons in
respect of a child and has not been disposed of—
(a) an adoption agency which placed the child with those persons may
leave the child with them until the application is disposed of, but
(b) apart from that, the child may not be placed for adoption with any
“Adoption order” includes a Scottish or Northern Irish adoption order.
(4) References in this Act (apart from this section) to an adoption agency placing a
child for adoption—
(a) are to its placing a child for adoption with prospective adopters, and
(b) include, where it has placed a child with any persons (whether under
this Act or not), leaving the child with them as prospective adopters;
and references in this Act (apart from this section) to a child who is placed for
adoption by an adoption agency are to be interpreted accordingly.
(5) References in this Chapter to an adoption agency being, or not being,
authorised to place a child for adoption are to the agency being or (as the case
may be) not being authorised to do so under section 19 or a placement order.
(6) This section is subject to sections 30 to 35 (removal of children placed by
19 Placing children with parental consent
(1) Where an adoption agency is satisfied that each parent or guardian of a child
has consented to the child—
(a) being placed for adoption with prospective adopters identified in the
(b) being placed for adoption with any prospective adopters who may be
chosen by the agency,
and has not withdrawn the consent, the agency is authorised to place the child
for adoption accordingly.
(2) Consent to a child being placed for adoption with prospective adopters
identified in the consent may be combined with consent to the child
subsequently being placed for adoption with any prospective adopters who
may be chosen by the agency in circumstances where the child is removed from
or returned by the identified prospective adopters.
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply where–
(a) an application has been made on which a care order might be made and
the application has not been disposed of, or
(b) a care order or placement order has been made after the consent was
(4) References in this Act to a child placed for adoption under this section include
a child who was placed under this section with prospective adopters and
continues to be placed with them, whether or not consent to the placement has
(5) This section is subject to section 52 (parental etc. consent).
20 Advance consent to adoption
(1) A parent or guardian of a child who consents to the child being placed for
adoption by an adoption agency under section 19 may, at the same or any
subsequent time, consent to the making of a future adoption order.
(2) Consent under this section—
(a) where the parent or guardian has consented to the child being placed
for adoption with prospective adopters identified in the consent, may
be consent to adoption by them, or
(b) may be consent to adoption by any prospective adopters who may be
chosen by the agency.
(3) A person may withdraw any consent given under this section.
(4) A person who gives consent under this section may, at the same or any
subsequent time, by notice given to the adoption agency—
(a) state that he does not wish to be informed of any application for an
adoption order, or
(b) withdraw such a statement.
(5) A notice under subsection (4) has effect from the time when it is received by the
adoption agency but has no effect if the person concerned has withdrawn his
(6) This section is subject to section 52 (parental etc. consent).