Adoption and Placement The Annex A and Annex B Report
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTERThis chapter details the circumstances, content and submission of the Annex A and Annex B Reports.
1. Circumstances in which Annex A and Annex B Reports are Required
The Court requires Annex A and Annex B report in two different processes.
An Annex B report is required where the Local Authority is applying under Section 21 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 for a Placement Order.
Except in the case of relinquished babies, this will usually be where care proceedings are underway; parents oppose adoption; and Adoption Panel has recommended Adoption and an application for a Placement Order. The application for a Placement Order will then be consolidated with the Care Proceedings wherever possible in order to avoid delay for the child.
Where an Adoption Application has been lodged with the Court by a child's carers then a Annex A report will be required. This covers three sets of circumstances:
- Where the child has been placed with the applicants by an Adoption Agency (known as an "agency" adoption);
- Where the applicant is a step-parent or relative of the child with whom the child lives, and no adoption agency has been involved in the arrangements (known as a "non-agency" adoption);
- Where the applicant is unrelated but is approved to adopt from abroad, and has brought a child into the UK for the purpose of adoption (known as "inter-country" adoption).
Annex A reports' contents are statutorily defined. See Appendix A for the format.
Three copies of the Annex A report must be submitted to the court within 6 weeks of the Court's formal request to the Local Authority.
The Annex A is a document of the Court and its contents should not be divulged without the Court's permission.
2. Annex B Reports in Placement Order Proceedings
The relevant Legal Officer will complete an application for a Placement Order. The child's social worker must obtain a copy of the child's birth certificate from the appropriate Registrar where the child's birth was registered; and submits this with the Annex B report to the Legal Officer, who can then prepare a Statement of Facts and lodge the application with the Court.
Appendix A is the format for the report which should be completed in full. If information this must be stated and the reasons why it is unavailable and the attempts made to obtain the information.
The conclusions section should omit subsection d) and e) of the format in a Placement Application. Subsection f) can include a comment on the likelihood of placing the child with adopters, which may be enhanced if the child is the subject of a Placement Order. It should also refer to the benefit to the child of avoiding a contested adoption process where the parent opposes the Local Authority's plan of Adoption.
3. Annex A Reports in Agency Adoptions
In most instances where a child has been placed for adoption within Kirklees, One Adoption West Yorkshire will be the placing Adoption Agency and Kirklees Council will be Responsible Local Authority for the child. Occasionally a child who is Looked After by another Local Authority is placed for adoption within the Kirklees area. In the latter case, any request from the Court for an Annex A report should be forwarded to the child's social worker in the Local Authority concerned.
The child's social worker is responsible for writing and submitting the Annex A report to the Adoption Court. The Court will normally have given the case an application number. Occasionally adopters make their application under a serial number in order to protect their identity (for example if the adoption is contested by birth parents). If the application is under a serial number, this should be stated on the front cover, and the adopters' names omitted.
In an agency adoption, the section "Actions of the Local Authority" must include all the agency's actions in respect of the child and birth parents but will also include further counselling to birth parents during and after Care / Placement Order Proceedings; date of Adoption Panel which recommended the adoption placement and date of written Panel notifications to birth parents. It must also include counselling, preparation work and Panel approval date of the prospective adopters plus dates of written Panel notifications of their approval and of the proposed adoption placement.
4. Annex A Reports in Non Agency Adoptions
See specific procedure re: Non-Agency Adoption (One Adoption - to follow).
5. Annex A Reports in Intercountry Adoption
Where Kirklees is the area Local Authority responsible for supervising the child obtained from abroad, and the intercountry adoption service has not been formally contracted out to an approved Adoption Agency, the supervising social worker will prepare the Annex A report.
The Annex A will follow the format of an 'agency adoption' one, with details of the child's history obtained from the adopters, and details of the adopters, obtained direct from them and from the record of the adoption agency which approved them. The 'Actions of the Agency' section needs to make clear that this is an intercountry adoption and record decisions made by the Department of Health regarding the adopters' final approval: Decisions made in the child's country of origin regarding preparatory work; any Adoption Order made by a Court there; and permissions for the child to exit their country of origin and be brought into the UK should be mentioned. The report writer should record the date when the adopters notified Kirklees MC of their intention to adopt the child, and of any supervision reports completed by Kirklees for the adoption agency abroad.
In an inter-country adoption the adopters are responsible for paying for and providing medical reports in respect of themselves and the child.