ADOPTION OF CHILDREN ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

Adoption of Children

2. Power to make adoption orders.

3. Restrictions on making of adoption orders.

4. Matters with respect to which court must be satisfied.

5. Terms and conditions of adoption order.

6. Effect of adoption order.

7. Power to make interim orders.

8. Provisions as to existing De Facto adoptions.

9. Power to make subsequent orders in respect of children already adopted.

10. Adoption Register.

10A. Quarterly return.

10B. Re-registration of the birth of an adopted child.

10C. Every adopter residing outside Sri Lanka to furnish reports.

11. Adoption Register not open for public inspection or search.

12. Books.

13. Jurisdiction, procedure.

14. Restriction on payment.

15. Savings as to marriage law.

16. Savings for adoption under Kandyan law or Thesawalamai.

16A. Replacement of damaged or lost entries in the Adoption Register.

16B. Regulations.

17. Interpretation of Part I.

PART II

Registration of Custodians of Children

18. Registration of persons having custody of children on appointed date.

19. Registration as custodians of persons taking children into their custody.

20. Protected persons.

21. Duties of registered custodians.

22. Special provisions as to accounts opened under section 21.

23. Visits, inspections.

24. Law relating to domestic servants not to apply to protected persons.

25. Savings for rights of parents.

26. Register of protected persons.

27. Offences and penalties.

27A. Prohibition against unlawful custody.

28. Regulations.

29. Application of Part II.

30. Interpretation of Part II.

SCHEDULE

24 of 1941,

6 of 1977,

1 of 1964,

38 of 1979,

15 of 1992,

12 of 2005.

AN ORDINANCE to provide for the Adoption of Children, for the registration as custodias of persons having the care, custody or control, of children of whom they are not the natural parents, and for matters connected with the matters aforesaid.

[Date of Commencement: 1st February, 1944]

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Adoption of Children Ordinance.

PART I

Adoption of Children

2. Power to make adoption orders.

(1) Any person desirous of being authorised to adopt a child may make application to the court in the manner provided by rules made under section 13, and upon such application being made, the court may, subject to the provisions of this Part, make an order (hereinafter referred to as an "adoption order”) authorising that person to adopt the child.

(2) No adoption order shall be made authorising two or more persons to adopt a child:

Provided, however, that the court may, on application made in that behalf by two spouses jointly, make an adoption order authorising the two spouses jointly to adopt a child.

3. Restrictions on making of 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 child in respect of whom the application is made:

Provided, however, that where the child in respect of whom an application is made is—

(i) a direct descendant of the applicant; or

(ii) a brother or sister of the applicant by the full or the half-blood or a descendant of any such brother or sister; or

(iii) the child of the wife or husband, as the case may be, of the applicant by another father or mother,

the court may, if it thinks fit make an adoption order, notwithstanding that the applicant is less than twenty-one years older than the child.

(2) An adoption order shall not be made in any case where the sole applicant is a male and the child in respect of whom the application is made is a female, unless the court is satisfied that there are special circumstances which justify 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 child in respect of whom the application is made, or who has the actual custody of the child, or who is liable to contribute to the support of the child:

Provided that the court may dispense with any consent required by the preceding provisions of this subsection if satisfied that the person whose consent is to be dispensed with, has abandoned or deserted the child or cannot be found or has been adjudged by a competent court to be of unsound mind, or, being a person liable to contribute to the support of the child, 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.

A man who marries a woman having a child (whether legitimate or illegitimate) at the time of the marriage shall be deemed for the purposes of this subsection to be a person liable to contribute to the support of the child.

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

Provided that the court may dispense with any consent required by the preceding provisions of this subsection if satisfied that the person whose consent is to be dispensed with, cannot be found or has been adjudged by a competent court to be of unsound mind, or that the spouses have been judicially separated by a decree of a competent court.

(5) An adoption order shall not be made in respect of a child over the age of ten years except with the consent of such child.

(5A) —

(a) An adoption order shall be made in favour of any applicant who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka and not domiciled or resident in Sri Lanka if no other person who is a citizen of Sri Lanka and resident and domiciled in Sri Lanka has applied to adopt the child in respect of whom the application is made.

(b) —

(i) The number of adoption orders that may be made by all courts in any calendar year, in favour of applicants who are not or were not at any time citizens of Sri Lanka and who are not resident and domiciled in Sri Lanka, shall be prescribed by regulation.

(ii) An adoption order shall not be made in favour of any applicants who are not or were not at any time citizens of Sri Lanka and who are not resident and domiciled in Sri Lanka, if the effect of making of such order will be to exceed the number prescribed under sub-paragraph (i), for the calendar year in which the order is to be made.

[S 3(5A) ins by s 2(1) of Act 15 of 1992.]

(6) An adoption order shall not be made in favour of any applicant who is not resident and domiciled in Sri Lanka or in respect of any child who is not resident:

Provided that an adoption order authorising the adoption, by two spouses who are not citizens of Sri Lanka and who are not resident and domiciled in Sri Lanka of a child—

(a) who is in the care, custody or control of a person for the time being in charge of an orphanage, home or other institution maintained by the Government or of an orphanage registered under the Orphanages Ordinance for a period of at least five years; and

(b) selected by the Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services,

may be made on the joint application of such spouses where, after calling for, and considering, a report from the Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services on the social and psychological aspects of the adoption to be authorised and on the matters specified in section 4, the court is satisfied that there are special circumstances that justified the making of an adoption order in favour of the joint applicants. The Commissioner shall submit such report to court within the period fixed by court for that purpose, such period being not less than fourteen days and not more than twenty-eight days from the date on which the court calls for the report and shall annex to such report—

(a) a home study report in respect of the applicants from an institution recognised by the country of the applicants; and

(b) a police report from the police authority for the respective police areas within which the applicants reside,

authenticated by the accredited representative of the Republic of Sri Lanka in that country.

"home study report” means a report on the mental health of the applicants, on their social, religious and financial background and on their suitability to adopt a child;

"police report” means a report on the conduct and activities of the applicants.

[S 3(6) subs by s 2 of Act 38 of 1979; proviso subs by
s 2(2) of Act 15 of 1992.]

4. Matters with respect to which court must be satisfied.

The court before making an adoption order shall be satisfied—

(a) that every person whose consent is necessary under this Part 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 child, due consideration being for this purpose given to the wishes of the child, having regard to the age and understanding of the child; and

(c) that—

(i) the applicant has not received, or agreed to receive, from any person, and has not made or given or agreed to give or make, to any person; or

(ii) no person has received, or agreed to receive, from the applicant, and has made or given or agreed to give or make, to the applicant,

any payment or other reward in consideration of the adoption except such as the court may sanction.

[S 4(c) subs by s 3 of Act 15 of 1992.]

5. Terms and conditions of adoption order.

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.

6. 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 to the marriage of the child, or to give notice forbidding the issue of a certificate for the solemnisation of such 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 have stood to a lawful father and mother respectively.

(2) The court which makes an adoption order in respect of any child shall, unless in its discretion it considers it inexpedient so to do, by that order confer on the child the surname or family name of the adopter or such other name as would, having regard to the customs of the community to which the adopter belongs, be conferred on a child born in lawful wedlock of the adopter.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.


Recent Updates

LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015