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Under Section 62 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 Scottish Ministers must publish a 'Restricted List'. This lists the countries for which special restrictions are currently in place (in respect of intercountry adoptions) and explains why these have been put in place.

Further explanation of the provisions relating to restrictions of adoptions from abroad can be found in the Explanatory Notes to the 2007 Act.

Requests for exceptions

By virtue of the fact that a country is on the restricted list, the presumption is that adoptions from that country by British residents will not continue. For an application to proceed where a suspension is in place, the relevant authority (for Scottish residents, the Scottish Government) will need to be satisfied that the facts of a particular case are sufficiently exceptional to override the general presumption.

Prospective adopters who wish to request that their case be treated as an exception to a suspension need to make an application to Scottish Government. The 'Requests for Exceptions' guidance explains which 'matters' which will be considered by Scottish Ministers and outlines the process that will be followed.

If you'd like to find out more about exceptions to suspensions, check out the explanatory notes section of The Adoptions with a Foreign Element (Special Restrictions on Adoptions from Abroad) (Scotland) Regulations 2008. These regulations set out (a) the procedure to be followed by the Scottish Ministers when a request from a prospective adopter to be treated as an exception to the general suspension is being considered and (b) the 'matters' to be taken into account in determining whether a case merits an exception to the suspension. They also enable the Scottish Ministers to impose extra conditions in relation to a country which is the subject of 'special restrictions' by specifying a 'step' in the process of dealing with applications from a restricted country after which applications will be allowed to continue.