Miscellaneous

20 Adoption order may be varied or discharged

(1)

The court may in its discretion vary or discharge any adoption order (whether the order was made before or after the commencement of this Act), or any adoption to which subsection (2) of section 19 applies, subject to such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

(2)

The court may, in its discretion and subject to such terms and conditions as it thinks fit, discharge any adoption made in any place outside New Zealand either before or after the commencement of this Act, if—

(a)

the person adopted is living and is domiciled in New Zealand; and

(b)

every living adoptive parent is domiciled in New Zealand.

(3)

No application for the discharge of any adoption order or adoption shall be made without the prior approval of the Attorney-General; and no adoption order or adoption shall be discharged unless—

(a)

the adoption order or adoption was made by mistake as to a material fact or in consequence of a material misrepresentation to the court or to any person concerned; or

(b)

the discharge is expressly authorized by any other section of this Act.

(4)

Where the court discharges any adoption order or adoption as aforesaid, it may confer on the person to whom the order or adoption related such surname with such first or Christian name as the court thinks fit; but, if it does not do so, the names of the person shall not be affected by the discharge of the order.

(5)

Any person may, at any time within 1 month after the date of the decision of the court under this section, appeal to the High Court against the decision.

(6)

Upon an adoption order, or an adoption to which subsection (1) of section 17 applies, or an adoption to which subsection (2) of section 19 applies, being discharged under this section after the commencement of this Act—

(a)

the relationship to one another of all persons (whether the adopted child, the adoptive parents, the natural parents, the guardians of the child at the date of the adoption order or adoption, or any other persons) shall be determined as if the adoption order or adoption had not been made; and any appointment as guardian of the adopted child which was made while the adoption order or adoption was in force shall cease to have effect:

provided that the discharge of the order or adoption shall not affect anything lawfully done or the consequences of anything unlawfully done while the order or adoption was in force:

(b)

no change in the child’s domicile shall occur by reason only of the discharge; but, where during the infancy of the child any natural parent resumes the exercise of the role of providing day-to-day care for the child to whom the discharged order or adoption related, the domicile of the child shall thereafter be determined as if neither the discharged order or adoption nor any prior adoption order or adoption in respect of the child had been made:

(c)

any affiliation order, maintenance order, or agreement for payment of maintenance which ceased to have effect under paragraph (i) of subsection (2) of section 16 shall thereafter have effect according to the terms thereof:

provided that nothing in this paragraph shall cause the order or agreement to have any effect in respect of the period while the adoption order or adoption remained in force:

provided also that notice of the discharge of the adoption order or adoption shall be served on every person who is bound by the affiliation order, maintenance order, or agreement, but nothing in this proviso shall restrict the effect of the affiliation order, maintenance order, or agreement between the date of the discharge of the adoption order or adoption and the service of notice of the discharge:

(d)

for the purposes of any other deed or instrument (except a will) made while the order or adoption was in force, or of the will or intestacy of any testator or intestate who died while the order or adoption was in force, or of any vested or contingent right of the adopted child or any other person under any such deed, instrument, will, or intestacy, the order or adoption shall be deemed to continue in force.

(7)

Upon the discharge of any adoption made in any place outside New Zealand, not being an adoption to which subsection (1) of section 17 applies,—

(a)

if at the date of the discharge adoptions could be discharged in the place where the adoption in question was made, the discharge shall have the same effects as if it was made in that place:

(b)

if at the date of the discharge adoptions could not be discharged in the place where the adoption in question was made, the discharge shall have the same effects, so far as they are applicable, as the discharge of an adoption order made under this Act.

(8)

Where an adoption order has been discharged before the commencement of this Act, the effect of the discharge shall be determined by reference to the law existing at the date of the discharge.

Compare: 1908 No 86 s 22; 1950 No 18 s 4

Section 20(5): replaced, on 1 April 1963, by section 6 of the Adoption Amendment Act 1962 (1962 No 134).

Section 20(5): amended, on 1 April 1980, pursuant to section 12 of the Judicature Amendment Act 1979 (1979 No 124).

Section 20(6)(b): amended, on 1 July 2005, by section 151 of the Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90).