V. Adoption Placement
A. Specific consent
For local adoption, if a person is named in the consent as the prospective adopter for the infant, and the person applies to the Director of the Social Welfare Department (DSW) or an Accredited Body for an assessment of the person’s suitability to be an adoptive parent under section 29(1) of the Adoption Ordinance , then if the DSW or the Accredited Body has assessed the person to be a suitable adoptive parent, the DSW or the Accredited Body may proceed with the infant’s placement ( section 29A(2) and (3) ).
B. General consent
For local adoption where consent for the adoption of an infant is given in the prescribed general form of consent, if the DSW decides that an applicant assessed to be a suitable adoptive parent would be a suitable adoptive parent for a particular infant and that the placement of the infant with the applicant would be in the best interests of the infant, either the DSW or Accredited Body may proceed with the infant’s placement ( section 29B(2) ).
Before making a decision, the DSW must seek the opinion of each and every Accredited Body that has proposed any prospective adopter for that particular infant and any other persons the DSW may consider appropriate ( section 29B(3) ).
D. Termination of placement
If at any time after the DSW or an Accredited Body has proceeded with an infant’s placement with a prospective adopter for local adoption, the DSW or the Accredited Body opines that continuing the placement would not be in best interests of the infant, then the DSW or the Accredited Body may terminate the placement ( section 29D(1) and (2) ).
If a person is aggrieved by an Accredited Body’s decision on the assessment of the person’s suitability or an Accredited Body’s decision to terminate a placement, he may apply for a review by the DSW ( section 29E ).
If a person is aggrieved by the decision of the DSW on the assessment of the person’s suitability or the decision to terminate a placement, he may lodge an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Board against the decision ( section 30 ).
F. Adoption Order
An adoption order will be granted if the matters set out in section 8 of the Adoption Ordinance are satisfied, namely:
- The adoption, if made, will be in the best interests of the child, with due consideration given to the wishes and opinions of the child, having regard to his/her age and understanding;
- Every person whose consent is necessary under the Adoption Ordinance and whose consent is not dispensed with has consented to and understands the nature and effect of the adoption order and, in particular, that (except for a birth parent married to the sole applicant in the case of step-parent adoption) the effect of the adoption order will be to permanently deprive him/her of any parental rights. The consent should only be executed when the child is at least four weeks old;
- The applicant has not received or agreed to receive any payment or other reward in consideration of the adoption; and
- Section 5AA or 27A(2) of the Adoption Ordinance (as the case may be), has been complied with and, taking into account the information obtained by the DSW from the Commissioner of Police, the applicant is a fit and proper person to be granted the adoption order.