A Placement Order, made under section 21 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, gives authority to a local authority to place a child with prospective adopters. It can only be made in relation to a child who is the subject of a Care Order or where the Threshold Criteria for a Care Order are satisfied or where there is no parent or guardian.
Parental consent to the Placement Order may be dispensed with by the Court under Section 47 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 on the grounds that;
- The parent cannot be found or is incapable of giving consent; or
- The welfare of the child requires the consent to be dispensed with.
A Placement Order has the effect of suspending a Care Order. If the Placement Order is subsequently revoked, the Care Order is reinstated.
The Placement Order continues until it is revoked or until an Adoption Order is made or until the child is 18, marries or enters a civil partnership.
Only a local authority can apply for a Placement Order and such an Order is required before a child can be placed for adoption with prospective adoptive parents unless Parental consent to the placement has been given to the placement.
Prospective adopters will acquire Parental Responsibility for the child as soon as the child is placed with them, to be shared with the birth parents and the adoption agency making the placement.