Legal aid FAQs - adoption, wardship and other public law proceedings

Q1.   How do I make an application for an adoption, wardship or other public law proceedings?

You will need to make an application request for representation higher.

For guidance on how to use LAMS to submit an application request, refer to Section 16.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual and 'Submitting an Application' in Instructional Videos.

Q2.   Are these means tested?

Some public law proceedings are non means tested. These include Proceedings under the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 where the client is either the child in respect of whom an application is made or the parent or person with parental responsibility for the child. The exemption applies both to Article 17 of the 1987 Order (freeing child for adoption with parental agreement) and Article 18 (freeing child for adoption without parental agreement).

Q3.   What information do LSANI require?

Please provide the following:

  • Explanation of the client’s involvement in the proceedings and relationship with the child concerned.
  • Statement of what outcome the client is seeking in the proceedings and how likely that outcome is to be achieved.
  • Identification of all other parties to the proceedings and what they are seeking – explaining why the client needs to be separately represented.
  • For applications relating to Article 17 or 18 of the Adoption (NI) Order, a separate legal aid application must be submitted in respect of each individual child.

Q4.   What documentation should I provide with my application?

We will require:

  • Relevant interparty correspondence, including confirmation of any consent to the adoption process.
  • Full set of pleadings.
  • Applicant’s detailed statement of facts/defence of any allegations made if not completed within case details.

Users must only provide or upload relevant personal data that will assist the Agency’s determination under the statutory tests. Failure to do so may compromise your obligations under the Data Protection Act (including obligations under the General Data Protection Regulations introduced in May 2018).

The maximum size of each document that can be uploaded into LAMS is 25MB with no cumulative maximum size. If you attempt to upload a document that exceeds 25MB an error message will be displayed.

Q5.   What type of certificate will I receive?

Generally, certificates for other public law proceedings are unlimited.

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