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Contents (2000 - 75)
Adoption Act 2000 No 75
Current version for 27 June 2017 to date (accessed 18 November 2017 at 15:25)
Chapter 4 Part 5 Division 3
Division 3 Dispensing with consent
66   How is need for consent dispensed with?
A requirement for the consent of a child or any other person to the child’s adoption under this Act can be dispensed with if the Court makes an order under this Division dispensing with the requirement (a consent dispense order).
67   When can Court dispense with consent of person other than the child?
(cf AC s 32 (1))
(1)  The Court may make a consent dispense order dispensing with the requirement for consent of a person to a child’s adoption (other than the child) if the Court is satisfied that:
(a)  the person cannot, after reasonable inquiry, be found or identified, or
(b)  the person is in such a physical or mental condition as not to be capable of properly considering the question of whether he or she should give consent, or
(c)  if the person is a parent of, or person who has parental responsibility for, the child—there is serious cause for concern for the welfare of the child and it is in the best interests of the child to override the wishes of the parent or person who has parental responsibility, or
(d)  if an application has been made to the Court for the adoption of the child by one or more persons who are authorised carers for the child:
(i)  the child has established a stable relationship with those carers, and
(ii)  the adoption of the child by those carers will promote the child’s welfare, and
(iii)  in the case of an Aboriginal child, alternatives to placement for adoption have been considered in accordance with section 36.
(2)  The Court must not make such a consent dispense order unless satisfied that to do so is in the best interests of the child.
68   Who may apply for order dispensing with consent of person other than the child?
(cf AC Act s 32 (1A))
Any of the following persons may apply to the Court for a consent dispense order:
(a)  the Secretary,
(b)  the appropriate principal officer,
(c)  if an application has been made to the Court for the adoption of the child by the mother, the father or a relative of the child (whether alone or jointly with another person)—the applicant or applicants,
(d)  with the consent of the Secretary—the applicant or applicants for the adoption of the child.
69   When can the Court dispense with the child’s consent?
(cf AC Act s 33)
(1) Child 12 or more but less than 18 years of age The Court may make a consent dispense order dispensing with the requirement for consent to his or her adoption to be given by a child who is 12 or more but less than 18 years of age if the Court is satisfied that the child is in such a physical or mental condition as not to be capable of properly considering the question of whether he or she should give consent.
(2)  An order under subsection (1) may be made on the Court’s own initiative or on application by any person.
(3) Child 18 or more years of age The Court must not make a consent dispense order dispensing with the requirement for consent of a child who is 18 or more years of age in any circumstances.
(4)  The Court must not make a consent dispense order under this section on application of a person other than the Secretary unless not less than 14 days’ notice of the application has been given to the Secretary.
70   When can consent dispense order be made?
(cf AC Act s 32 (2) and (3))
(1)  A consent dispense order may be made:
(a)  before an application for an adoption order has been made in relation to a child, or
(b)  in conjunction with an adoption order in relation to a child.
(2)  Despite subsection (1) (a), a consent dispense order must not be made on the application of a person referred to in section 68 (c) except in conjunction with an adoption order in favour of that person or of that person and another person.
(3)  A consent dispense order relating to the adoption of a child made before an application for an adoption order has been made in relation to the child has effect for the purposes of any application for an adoption order that is subsequently made in relation to the child.
71   Revocation of consent dispense order
(cf AC Act s 32 (4))
(1)  A consent dispense order in relation to the adoption of a child made before an application for an adoption order has been made may be revoked by the Court at any time before the making of the adoption order.
(2)  The consent dispense order may be revoked on the Court’s own initiative or on the application of:
(a)  the Secretary or of the person whose consent was dispensed with, or
(b)  if the order was made on the application of a principal officer—the principal officer.
72   Notice of consent dispense order
(cf AC Act s 32 (5))
(1)  The Court must not make a consent dispense order on the application of any person unless notice of the application has been given to the person whose consent is sought to be dispensed with at least 14 days before the order is made.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a)  the person cannot, after reasonable inquiry, be found or identified, or
(b)  the person is in such a physical or mental condition as not to be capable of properly considering the question of whether he or she should give consent and his or her physical or mental health would, in the opinion of the Court, be detrimentally affected if he or she were to receive notice of the application, or
(c)  the Court considers that in the particular circumstances of the case it is desirable to make an order without notice of the application having been given.
(3)  The Court must not revoke any consent dispense order on application of a person unless not less than 14 days’ notice of the application has been given:
(a)  in the case of an application for revocation made by a person other than the Secretary—to the Secretary, and
(b)  in the case of an application for revocation made by a person other than the principal officer who applied for the consent dispense order—to the principal officer, or
(c)  if an application has been made to the Court for the adoption of the child by the mother, the father or a relative of the child (whether alone or jointly with another person)—to the applicant or applicants.