CHILDREN ACT

CHAPTER 28
CHILDREN ACT

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

2A. Courts, tribunals to be guided by certain principles.

3. Duty to promote welfare of child and delegation of powers of the Director.

3A. National Commission for Child Protection.

PART II

MAINTENANCE ETC.

Duty of maintenance

4. Obligation to maintain.

5. Assistance by Director.

6. Enforcement of maintenance.

7. Misuse of maintenance.

Maintenance orders

8. Maintenance orders.

Affiliation orders

9. Meaning of “child”.

10. Application.

11. Leave of Registrar.

12. Affiliation orders.

13. Duration of order.

14. Saving.

Enforcement of maintenance orders

15. Variation of order.

16. Appeal from Tribunal.

17. Deduction of payments from salaries etc.

18. Attachment of earnings orders.

19. Enforcement of order.

20. Notice of change of address.

General

21. Judicial appointment of guardian or sub-guardian.

22. No publication of proceedings.

23. Applications in bad faith etc.

23A. President guardian of abandoned child.

PART III

VOLUNTARY CARE AND ASSUMPTION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

24. Voluntary supervision.

25. Care by Director necessary.

26. Assumption of parental rights by the Director.

27. Protection of children going aboard.

PART IV

FOSTER CARE

28. Register of foster parents.

29. Care of foster children.

30. Fostering of children in care.

31. Prohibition on unregistered fostering.

32. Restrictions on removal of foster child.

PART V

ADOPTION

Adoption orders

33. Adoption orders.

34. Making of adoption orders.

35. Name of child.

36. Child to live previously with adopters.

37. Adoption by married couple.

38. Adoption by one person.

39. [Repealed].

40. Parental agreement.

41. Evidence of parental agreement.

42. Notification to and report by the Director.

43. Restrictions on making orders.

44. Provisional orders for adoption abroad.

45. Interim orders.

46. Care etc. of child on refusal of order.

47. Privacy.

48. Appeals.

49. Guardians ad litem and reporting officers.

Restrictions on removal of children

50. Restrictions on removal where adoption agreed.

51. Restrictions on removal where applicant has provided home for five years.

52. Return of child taken away.

53. Return of child placed by Director.

Protected children

54. Meaning of “protected child”.

55. Director to ensure well-being of protected children.

56. Removal of protected child to place of safety.

57. Information to be given to Director.

58. Offences.

59. Refusal of visit etc. to protected child.

General

60. Restriction on removal of children for adoption outside Seychelles.

61. Ban on certain payments.

62. Ban on advertisements.

63. Revocation of adoptions on legitimation.

Registration of Adoption Orders

64. Adopted Children Register.

Status of adopted children

65. Meaning of adoption order.

66. Status conferred by adoption.

67. Citizenship.

68. Exceptions in status.

69. Effect on maintenance etc. orders.

PART VI

OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN

70. Cruelty to children.

70A. Medical examination.

71. Children not to be used for begging.

72. Children not to be given liquor.

73. Children not to be given drugs.

73A. Children not to be given tobacco.

74. Children not to be used for witchcraft.

75. Children not to be used for offences.

76. Warrant to search for or remove child.

PART VII

COMPULSORY CARE

77. Family Tribunal.

78. Jurisdiction of the Family Tribunal.

78A. Proceedings of the Tribunal.

78B. Appeal from Tribunal.

79. Children needing compulsory measures of care.

80. Removal to place of safety.

81. Initial investigation by Director.

82. Report by Director to Tribunal.

83. Procedure.

84. [Repealed].

85. [Repealed].

86. [Repealed].

87. Further background investigations.

88. Powers of Tribunal.

89. Review of supervision requirement.

90. Cessation on becoming 18.

91. [Repealed].

PART VIII

JUVENILE COURTS

92. Restriction on prosecution of children.

93. Juvenile Courts.

94. Restrictions on imprisonment etc.

95. Methods of dealing with children charged with offences.

96. Power to order parent to pay fine etc.

97. [Repealed]

98. Committal to Juvenile Centre.

PART IX

ESTABLISHMENTS

99. Provisions by Government.

100. Types of establishment.

101. Keeping family links.

102. Person asked to leave establishment.

103. Supervision of establishments.

104. Admission of children.

105. Discharge of children.

106. False information.

PART X

MISCELLANEOUS

107. Regulations.

108. Rules of court.

109. Indemnity.

SCHEDULE 1

SCHEDULE 2

SCHEDULE 3

16 of 1982,

8 of 1991,

4 of 1998,

7 of 2005,

14 of 2016.

[Date of commencement: 15th July 1982]

[Note: The terms “Board” and “Children’s Board” were substituted throughout the Act with the term “Tribunal” by s 2(a) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

(1) This Act may be cited as the Children Act.

(2) [Repealed]

2. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“affiliation order” means an order under section 12;

“adoption order” except in sections 65 to 69, means an order in terms of section 33;

“adult” means a person of 18 years of age or older;

“attachment of earnings order” means an order for the attachment of earnings made under the Maintenance Orders (Attachment of Earnings) Act;

“care” includes protection, control, guidance and treatment;

“Chairman” means a chairman of a Tribunal in terms of section 78(2);

“child”, except where used to express a relationship and except in sections 9 to 14, means a person under 18 years of age and includes a young person;

“compulsory measures of care” has the meaning given in section 79(1);

“custodian” means any person, other than a parent or the reputed father, who—

(a) has the actual custody of a child; or

(b) is guardian of a child;

“Directors” means the persons for the time being acting in the capacity or performing the functions of head of the Division or Section responsible for children affairs in the Ministry or department responsible for children affairs;

“establishment” includes premises used in connection with the establishment;

“foster child” has the meaning given in section 28(2) and (3);

“foster parent” has the meaning given in section 28(2);

“guardian” means a person appointed—

(a) as guardian of a child by a parent under Article 397 of the Civil Code; or

(b) as guardian of a child by the Court under Article 402 of the Civil Code; or

(c) as sub-guardian of a child by the Court under Article 420 or 422 of the Civil Code,

and includes—

(i) any person to whose care a child is committed under or by virtue of a court order; and

(ii) except in relation to Part IV (Foster Care), any person who, in the opinion of a court or Hearing concerned with a child, for the time being has the charge of or control over a child;

“Juvenile Centre” means an establishment in terms of section 100(1)(e);

Juvenile Court” means a court sitting under the conditions specified in section 93(1);

“maintenance” has the meaning given in section 6;

“maintenance order” means an order under section 8(1);

“parent”—

(a) does include a foster parent; but

(b) in relation to a child who is illegitimate, includes the father of the child where he has recognised the child under Article 334 of the Civil Code or where paternal descent has been proved under Article 340 of the Civil Code;

“parental rights” and “parental rights and duties” include the rights, functions and duties of a parent as guardian of a child;

“place of safety” has the meaning given in section 80(2);

“protected child” has the meaning given in section 54;

“provisional adoption order” means an order in terms of section 44;

“relative”, in relation to a child, means a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether of the full blood or half-blood or by affinity) and includes a parent and, where the child is illegitimate, any person who would be a relative if the child were the legitimate child of his mother and father;

“reputed father” has the meaning given in section 12(2);

“school” has the meaning given in section 3(1) of the Education Act;

“single woman” includes a widow or married woman who is living apart from her husband;

“supervision requirement” means a requirement made by a Children’s Hearing under section 88(1)(b);

“take-home earnings” means gross earnings less tax on income or profits and contributions under the Social Security Act;

“Tribunal” means the Family Tribunal established under section 77;

[Ins by s 2(b)(iv) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

“young person” means a person of 14 years of age or older but under 18 years age.

[Note: The defined terms “Board” or “Children’s Board”, “Hearing” or “Children’s hearing” and “President’s child” were repealed by s 2(b) of Act 4 of 1998.]

2A. Courts, tribunals to be guided by certain principles.

(1) Whenever a court or tribunal determines any question with respect to the upbringing of a child, the child’s wellbeing shall be its primary consideration.

(2) A court or tribunal which determines such a question shall have regard to—

(a) the general principle that a delay in determining the question is likely to prejudice the wellbeing of the child;

(b) such wishes and feelings of the child as may be ascertained considering the child’s age and understanding;

(c) the likely effect on the child of any change in the child’s circumstances;

(d) the child’s age, gender, background and any characteristic of the child which the court or tribunal considers relevant;

(e) any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;

(f) the capacity of each of the child’s parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court or tribunal considers the question to be relevant, of meeting the child’s needs;

(g) the range of powers available to the court or tribunal in the proceedings in question.

[S 2A ins by s 2(a) of Act 7 of 2005 w.e.f. 1 August 2005.]

3. Duty to promote welfare of child and delegation of powers of the Director.

(1) In reaching any decision relating to a child, the Director shall have regard to all the circumstances, first consideration being given to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child throughout his childhood, and shall so far as practicable find out the wishes and feelings of the child regarding the decision and give due consideration to them, having regard to his age and understanding.

[S 3(1) am by s 2(c) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998; s 2(b)(i) of Act 7 of 2005 w.e.f. 1 August 2005.]

(2) If it appears to the Director that it is necessary, for the purpose of protecting members of the public, to exercise his powers in relation to a particular child in his care in a manner which may not be consistent with his duty under subsection (1), the Director may notwithstanding that duty, act in that manner.

(2A) It shall be the duty of the Director to keep and maintain in the prescribed form a register, to be known as the Child Protection Register, of particulars of cases of offences committed against children that would be necessary to ensure the protection of such children.

[S 3(2A) ins by s 2(b)(ii) of Act 7 of 2005 w.e.f. 1 August 2005.]

(3) The Director may delegate any of his powers under this Act, other than the power to delegate under this section to any public officer.

3A. National Commission for Child Protection.

(1) There shall be established a National Commission for Child Protection consisting of such number of members as may be appointed by the Minister from among persons who have distinguished themselves in social work relating to children.

(2) The functions of the National Commission for Child Protection shall be—

(a) to advise the Minister on matters of policy relating to child protection;

(b) to recommend policies and procedures for the review and coordination of activities of various bodies concerned with child protection;

(c) to inquire into and report or advise on matters referred to it by the Minister.

(3) The Minister may prescribe the powers and duties of the Commission.

[S 3A ins by s 2(c) of Act 7 of 2005 w.e.f. 1 August 2005.]

PART II

MAINTENANCE ETC.

Duty of Maintenance

4. Obligation to maintain.

A person under an obligation, by virtue of the Civil Code or otherwise, to maintain a child must ensure that the child is—

(a) given adequate nutritious food;

(b) adequately clothed;

(c) provided with housing which protects him against bad weather and includes adequate sleeping facilities;

(d) protected to the best of that person’s ability against illness;

(e) not neglected or exposed to danger, in the home or elsewhere, in a manner likely to cause the child unnecessary suffering or injury to health; and

(f) if he is under 12 years of age, not regularly or for excessively long periods left in the charge of another child under 12 years of age.

5. Assistance by Director.

(1) Without prejudice to section 70 (Cruelty to children), if a person under an obligation, by virtue of the Civil Code or otherwise, to maintain a child is unable (through no fault of his own) to comply with section 4 but there are no grounds for care by the Director under section 25 or for compulsory care of the child in terms of section 79, the Director may provide assistance in cash or in kind to enable or assist in enabling that person to comply with section 4.

(2) The cost of assistance provided under subsection (1) shall be paid out of the Social Security Fund.

6. Enforcement of maintenance.

(1) The father and the mother of a child must each maintain the child in terms of section 4, regardless of—

(a) whether he or she has custody of the child; and

(b) whether he or she is resident in or outside Seychelles.

(2) If a parent—

(a) does not have custody of the child; or

(b) is not living with the family,

he must pay as maintenance for each child whom he is liable to maintain such sum as may be prescribed by the Minister.

(3) Without prejudice to section 70 (Cruelty to children), a parent—

(a) who fails to maintain his child in terms of section 4; or

(b) to whom subsection (2) applies and who fails to pay the prescribed maintenance; or

(c) who fails to comply with a maintenance order or an affiliation order,

is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for two years and to a fine of R10,000:

[S 6(3) am by s 2(d)(i) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

Provided that if imprisonment of the parent would be against the best interest of the child, the court shall only impose a sentence of imprisonment if in the opinion of the Tribunal a fine alone would be inadequate or inappropriate.

(4) Where a parent is imprisoned under subsection (3) all his earnings in prison, however small, shall be paid to the person who has care of the child whom he is liable to maintain.

(5) Without prejudice to the power conferred on the Attorney-General by the Constitution in respect of the prosecution for criminal offences, the Director may conduct the prosecution for an offence under subsection (3).

[S 6(5) ins by s 2(d)(ii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

7. Misuse of maintenance.

(1) A person who receives any money for the maintenance of a child under—

(a) section 6(2);

(b) a maintenance order;

(c) an affiliation order; or

(d) an attachment of earnings order,

must spend that money on the maintenance of the child and not otherwise.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for two years and to a fine of R.10,000.

[S 7(2) am by s 2(e) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

Maintenance orders

8. Maintenance orders.

(1) Notwithstanding any proceedings in respect of an offence under section 6(3), where a parent—

(a) fails to maintain his child in terms of section 4; or

(b) fails to pay maintenance in terms of section 6(2),

then—

(i) the other parent of the child; or

(ii) a custodian of the child; or

(iii) the Director on behalf of a person described in paragraph (i) or (ii),

may apply to the Tribunal for an order for the payment by that defaulting parent of maintenance, including any arrears thereof, for the child.

[S 8(1) am by s 2(f)(i) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(2) ...

[S 8(2) rep by s 2(f)(ii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(3) An order under subsection (1) may provide for payment of the maintenance to—

(a) the parent or custodian of the child;

(b) the Director;

(c) an officer of the court; or

(d) any other person considered by the court to be suitable to receive and pay out that monthly sum,

and in the case of paragraphs (c) and (d) may provide for the maintenance then to be paid to the mother or custodian for the maintenance of the child in such manner and subject to such conditions as the court may direct.

[S 8(3) am by s 2(f)(iii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(3A) If on an application under subsection (1) it appears to the Tribunal that the child is or will be engaged in a course of education or training after becoming 18 years of age and that payments of maintenance should continue, then the Tribunal may vary the order by requiring the defaulting parent to continue to make payments for a specified period not extending beyond the 21st birthday of the child.

[S 8(3A) ins by s 2(d) of Act 7 of 2005 w.e.f. 1 August 2005.]

(4) An order of the Tribunal for maintenance shall be deemed to be an order made by a court in terms of section 2 of the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act.

[S 8(4) ins by s 2(f)(iv) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

Affiliation orders

9. Meaning of “child”.

In this division (sections 9 to 14), “child” means an illegitimate child under 18 years of age.

10. Application.

(1) A single woman who is pregnant, or who has given birth to an illegitimate child, may—

(a) before the birth of the child; or

(b) at any time within five years after the birth of the child; or

(c) at any other time on proof that the man alleged to be the father of the child has within five years after the birth of the child paid money for the child’s maintenance or otherwise supported the child; or

(d) at any time within five years after the return to Seychelles of the man alleged to be father of the child on proof that he ceased to reside in Seychelles within five years after the birth of the child,

subject to section 11, apply to the Supreme Court for a summons to be served on the man alleged by her to be the father of the child.

[S 10(1) am by s 2(g) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(2) An application under this section may be made by a woman who was a single woman at the date of the birth of the child, even if she is no longer a single woman at the time of the application.

(3) An application under this section may also be made by—

(a) a custodian of the child; or

(b) the Director on behalf of a single woman referred to in subsection (1) or of a custodian of the child.

(4) The application shall be supported by an affidavit of the applicant.

11. Leave of Registrar.

(1) The leave of the Registrar of the Supreme Court must be obtained an application under section 10(1), (2)
or (3)(a).

(2) The Registrar may refuse leave under subsection (1) if he is not satisfied—

(a) that there is reasonable cause to believe that the man alleged to be the father of the child is the father of the child; and

(b) that the application is made in good faith and not to annoy, intimidate or exact money from that man.

(3) An appeal from a refusal of leave by the Registrar made to a Judge in chambers.

(4) A decision of a Judge under subsection (3) shall not be subject to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

[S 11(4) ins by s 2(h) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

12. Affiliation orders.

(1) All relevant evidence whether oral or documentary is admissible on the hearing of an application and Articles 334 to 340 and any other provision of the Civil Code setting out the manner in which natural filiation may be established or limiting the right of action in cases in which proof of paternal descent is allowed, do not apply with respect to proceedings under or governed by this division.

(2) If—

(a) the defendant admits the allegation that he is the father of the child; or

(b) the evidence of the mother is corroborated in some material particular by other evidence to the satisfaction of the Court,

the Court may make an affiliation order naming the defendant as the reputed father of the child and where it makes an order, remit the case to the Tribunal for the purpose of making a determination with regard to the maintenance of the child.

[S 12(2) am by s 2(i)(i) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(3) In an affiliation order the court may also order the reputed father to pay any or all of—

(a) ...

[S 12(3)(a) rep by s 2(i)(ii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(b) the expenses incidental to the birth of the child;

(c) the funeral expenses of the child if the child has died before the making of the order;

(d) the costs of the application.

(4) ...

[S 12(4) rep by s 2(i)(iii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(5) ...

[S 12(5) rep by s 2(i)(iii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(6) If the application under section 10 is made before, or within two months after, the birth of the child, maintenance determined by the Tribunal pursuant to subsection (2) may be made payable from the date of birth.

[S 12(6) am by s 2(i)(iv) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(7) The Tribunal may, in place of maintenance, order that a lump sum be paid into court to be spent on the maintenance of the child in such manner as the Tribunal may order.

[S 12(7) rep and subs by s 2(i)(v) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(8) The Tribunal may direct that a lump sum paid under subsection (7) shall be invested or placed on deposit by the Director.

[S 12(8) am by s 2(i)(vi) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(9) The court may, if the application is dismissed, order that the applicant pay to the person alleged to be the father the reasonable costs incurred by him in defending the proceedings.

13. Duration of order.

(1) Subject to this section, an affiliation order continues in force until the child—

(a) becomes 18 years of age; or

(b) dies,

whichever is the earlier, and then stops.

(2) If, on the application of the child’s mother or custodian, it appears to the Tribunal that the child is or will be engaged in a course of education or training after becoming 18 years of age, and that payments under the order should continue, then the Tribunal may vary the order for maintenance of the child to order the reputed father to continue to make payments for a specified period, not extending beyond the 21st birthday of the child.

[S 13(2) am by s 2(j) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(3) If a reputed father dies while an affiliation order is in force—

(a) the affiliation order is payable from and is a prior charge on his estate; and

(b) Article 205(3) of the Civil Code applies to the affiliation order as it applies to maintenance of a surviving spouse.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), (2) or (3), money previously due under an affiliation order may be recovered after the order has stopped.

14. Saving.

Nothing in sections 9 to 13 amends or alters the law relating to the establishment of natural filiation as regards the father and an order of a court naming a defendant as the reputed father of a child does not establish the paternal descent of that child.

Enforcement of maintenance orders

15. Variation of order.

On the application of—

(a) either parent of the child; or

(b) any custodian of the child or other person entitled to payments under a maintenance order; or

(c) the Director; or

(d) the reputed father,

or of its own motion, the Tribunal may, after inquiring into the circumstances, vary a maintenance order.

[S 15 am by s 2(k) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

16. Appeal from Tribunal.

An appeal to the Supreme Court against a maintenance order by the Tribunal may be made by—

(a) either parent of the child; or

(b) any custodian of the child or other person entitled to payments under the order; or

(c) the Director; or

(d) the reputed father,

and the Tribunal shall inform every person referred to in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) who is before the Tribunal when the order is made of this right of appeal.

[S 16 am by s 2(l) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

17. Deduction of payments from salaries etc.

(1) In a maintenance order the Tribunal may order any person who is liable to pay any money to or holds any money for a parent or reputed father who is liable under the maintenance order, to deduct the amount of maintenance or other money due under the order from money liable to be paid or held and to pay the amount or other money to the person specified in the order.

[S 17(1) rep and subs by s 2(m)(i) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(2) A person receiving an order in terms of subsection (1) is bound—

(a) to acknowledge receipt to the Director of that order;

(b) to make the deductions in accordance with that order out of any sums due by him to the parent giving the authority; and

(c) immediately to pay those sums to the person entitled in terms of the order in accordance with that order:

Provided that if that person is at any time unable to comply with paragraph (b) or (c) he must inform the Director in writing, stating his reasons.

[S 17(2) am by s 2(m)(ii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

18. Attachment of earnings orders.

A person entitled to receive payments under a maintenance order may apply for an attachment of earnings order under the Maintenance Orders (Attachment of Earnings) Act.

[S 18 am by s 2(n) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

19. Enforcement of order.

(1) Subject to this Part, where money due under a maintenance order is not paid, the Tribunal may, on an application by the person entitled to receive payment of maintenance—

(a) order the parent or reputed father against whom the order is made to work on a project approved by the Tribunal and that any payment in respect of the work be made directly to the Director or such other person as the Tribunal may direct;

[S 19(1)(a) rep and subs by s 2(o)(i)(C) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(b) order execution of the order.

[S 19(1) am by s 2(o)(i)(A) and (B) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(2) The Tribunal shall not make an order on a person under subsection (1)(a) unless a summons to appear and be examined on oath has been served on that person.

[S 19(2) am by s 2(o)(ii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(3) Where an application is made under subsection (1) and it appears to the Tribunal at the time that an amount equal to not less than two of the payments of maintenance required by the order was due and unpaid and it is appropriate to do so, the Tribunal may, instead of making an order under subsection (1), order that the amount due and owing at the time and any other amount due under the maintenance order be deducted by the employer, bank or other person from the salary, wages or other moneys due to the person in respect of whom the application is made and be paid to the person entitled in terms of the order.

[S 19(3) rep and subs by s 2(o)(iii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(4) Where an attachment of earnings order is made under subsection (2) or under section 3(1) of the Maintenance Orders (Attachment of Earnings) Act, no order under subsection (1)(a) shall be issued in consequence of any proceedings for the enforcement of the related maintenance which were begun before the making of the attachment of earnings order.

[S 19(4) am by s 2(o)(iv) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(5) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no order committing a person to civil imprisonment shall be made in respect of money not paid under a maintenance order or an affiliation order.

(6) Unless the Tribunal otherwise orders, all costs incurred in attempting to enforce a maintenance order are deemed to be due under the order.

[S 19(6) am by s 2(o)(v) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(7) Section 17(2) shall apply to an employer, bank or other person who receives an order under subsection (3).

[S 19(7) ins by s 2(o)(vi) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

20. Notice of change of address.

(1) A person against or in respect of whom a maintenance order has been made shall inform the person entitled to receive moneys under the order of a change of address of the first-mentioned person and, in the case of an order under section 17(1) or section 19(3) of any other change which would adversely affect the giving of effect of the order, as soon as practicable after the change.

[S 20(1) rep and subs by s 2(p)(i) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(2) A person who without reasonable excuse fails to give notice under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of R5 000.

[S 20(2) am by s 2(p)(ii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

General

21. Judicial appointment of guardian or sub-guardian.

All applications for the judicial appointment of—

(a) a guardian under Article 402 of the Civil Code; or

(b) a sub-guardian under Article 420 or 422 of the Civil Code,

shall be notified to the Director by the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

22. No publication of proceedings.

(1) No person shall publish a report of proceedings—

(a) for or in respect of an affiliation order; or

(b) under Article 340 (Proof of paternal descent) or Article 341 (Proof of maternal descent) of the Civil Code.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of R.5,000.

(3) A court may order that proceedings to which this section applies shall be heard in private.

23. Applications in bad faith etc.

A person who seeks leave to apply or applies to a court under section 10 or under Article 340 (Proof of paternal descent) or Article 341 (Proof of maternal descent) of the Civil Code—

(a) vexatiously; or

(b) in bad faith; or

(c) to annoy, intimidate or extort money from the man alleged to be the father of the child,

is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for two years and to a fine of R.5000.

23A. President guardian of abandoned child.

(1) Subject to section 30, where a child—

(a) is orphaned and has no guardian; or

(b) has been and remains abandoned by the child’s parents,

the Tribunal may, on the application of the Director, make an order appointing the President, on behalf of the Republic, to be the guardian of the child.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a child is orphaned if both of the child’s parents are deceased or in the case of an illegitimate child whose paternal descent has not been proved, if the child’s mother is deceased.

(3) The Director when making an application under subsection (1) shall submit a report to the Tribunal on the social background of the child.

(4) Where the Tribunal has made an order under subsection (1), it may, in addition, make an order for the payment of maintenance for the child by the parents of the child to the person specified in the order and for the payment to be deducted as provided in section 17(1).

[S 23A ins by s 2(q) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

PART III

VOLUNTARY CARE AND ASSUMPTION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

24. Voluntary supervision.

(1) Where a parent having custody of, or a custodian of, a child is—

(a) unable to provide proper care for the child; or

(b) the child is beyond his control and he so requests,

the Director may exercise supervision over the child while the child resides in his home.

(2) A child shall comply with directions of the Director in the course of supervision under this section.

25. Care by Director necessary.

(1) Where it appears to the Director with respect to a child—

(a) that he has neither parent nor guardian;

(b) that he has been and remains abandoned by his parents or guardian;

(c) that he is lost;

(d) that his parents or guardian are, for the time being or permanently, prevented by reason of mental or bodily disease or infirmity or other incapacity or any other circumstances from providing for his proper care, accommodation, maintenance, welfare and upbringing;

[S 25(1)(d) am by s 2(r)(i) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(e) if he is a foster child, in terms of section 29(5) or 30(2), the Director is not satisfied with his care and maintenance;

(f) if he has been placed for adoption by the Director, that section 53 applies; or

(g) if he is a protected child in terms of Part V, that the Supreme Court has made an order under section 46,

[S 25(1)(g) am by s 2(r)(ii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

and that (except where paragraph (g) applies) the intervention of the Director under this section is necessary in the interests of the welfare of the child, the Director shall take that child into its care.

(2) Where the Director has taken a child into its care under this section—

(a) notwithstanding Article 450(1) of the Civil Code, the Director has the care of the person of the child: but the Director does not represent him in legal acts or administer his property; and

(b) it is the duty of the Director to keep the child in his care so long as required for the welfare of the child.

(3) If, at the time when a child is taken into care by the Director under this section, the whereabouts of any parent or guardian of his is unknown, the Director shall take all reasonable steps to discover it.

(4) Nothing in this section authorises the Director where it is not against the welfare of the child to keep a child in his care under this section if any parent or guardian wishes to take over the care of the child, and the Director shall, in all cases where it appears to him consistent with the welfare of the child, endeavour to secure that the care of the child is taken over either—

(a) by a parent or guardian of his; or

(b) by a relative or friend of his.

[S 25(4) am by s 2(r)(iii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

26. Assumption of parental rights by the Director.

(1) Subject to this Act, if it appears to the Director in relation to a child who is in his care under section 25 that—

(a) his parents are dead and he has no guardian; or

(b) a parent or guardian of his—

(i) has abandoned him; or

(ii) suffers from some permanent disability rendering the parent or guardian incapable of caring for the child; or

(iii) while not coming within subparagraph (ii), suffers from a mental disorder which renders the parent or guardian unfit to have the care of the child; or

(iv) is of such habits or mode of life as to be unfit to have the care of the child; or

(v) has so consistently failed without reasonable cause to discharge the obligations of a parent or guardian, as the case may be, as to be unfit to have the care of the child; or

(c) a decision under this section on the ground of paragraph (b) is in force in relation to one parent or guardian of the child who is, or is likely to become, a member of the household comprising the child and his other parent or guardian; or

(d) throughout the three years preceding the decision under this section the child has been in the care of the care of the Director under section 25;

and if no other person is willing to become guardian of that child, the Director may decide to assume the parental rights and duties with respect to the child.

(2) Where the Director has made a decision in terms of subsection (1), he shall serve notice in writing of the decision on the person on whose account the decision was made unless—

(a) that person has consented in writing to the decision; or

(b) that person’s whereabouts are unknown to the Director.

(3) The person on whose account a parental rights decision in terms of subsection (1) was made may, within one month of the decision, appeal against it to the Tribunal.

[S 26(3) am by s 2(s) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

27. Protection of children going aboard.

(1) Where the Director has reasonable ground for believing that a child who is a citizen of Seychelles is being or about to be taken out of Seychelles for an immoral purpose or for any other purpose which the Director believes to be against the best interest of the child, the Director may apply to the Supreme Court for an order preventing the child from being taken out of Seychelles.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a person shall not take a child out of and a child shall not leave Seychelles in contravention of an order made by the Supreme Court under subsection (1).

(3) The prohibition contained in subsection (2) shall not apply where the Supreme Court has made a provisional adoption order under section 44 or an order of authority under section 60.

(4) A person or child who contravenes subsection (2) is guilty of an offence and liable—

(a) in the case of the person taking the child out of Seychelles, to a fine of R50,000 and to imprisonment for five years,

(b) in the case of a child who is leaving Seychelles, to a fine of R10,000 and to imprisonment for two years.

(5) An order under subsection (1) shall be sufficient authority for the Director General of Immigration or any other Immigration Officer, Police officer, the Captain or officer in charge of any vessel or aircraft or the person for the time being in charge of the airport or port to prevent the child named in the order from being taken out of or leaving Seychelles and the Director General of Immigration, Immigration Officer, police officer, Captain or officer in charge of a vessel or aircraft or person for the time being in charge of the port or airport shall not be liable to any suit or for any damage or claim for acting in good faith in pursuance of the order.

(6) For the purpose of subsection (1), “immoral purpose” includes for the purpose of an act which if done or omitted to be done in Seychelles would constitute an offence under Chapter XV of the Penal Code.

(7) Where in pursuance of an international scheme or agreement to which Seychelles is a party the Supreme Court makes an order in terms of subsection (1) in respect of a child who is not a citizen of Seychelles, this section shall apply to the child as it applies to a child who is a citizen of Seychelles.

[S 27 rep and subs by s 2(t) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

PART IV

FOSTER CARE

28. Register of foster parents.

(1) The Director shall keep a Register of Foster Parents including—

(a) foster parents of children in the care of the Director by virtue of an arrangement under section 30(1);

(b) subject to subsection (6), foster parents by virtue of a private arrangement; and

[S 28(1)(b) am by s 2(u)(i) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(c) persons who wish to become foster parents and in the opinion of the Director are suitable to care for and maintain a foster child.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (5), a foster parent is a person who, under an arrangement under section 30(1) or a private arrangement or agreement, undertakes the care and maintenance of a child of whom the person is not a parent for a continuous period of more than one month.

[S 28(2) rep and subs by s 2(u)(ii) of Act 4 of 1998 w.e.f. 22 June 1998.]

(3) A child is not a foster child while he is in the care of any person—

(a) in an establishment provided under this Act; or

(b) in any other establishment used for the care of children; or

(c) in a school in which he is receiving full-time education; or

(d) in the National Youth Service; or

(e) in a hospital.

(4) No person shall be registered under subsection (1) unless—

(a) he has been interviewed; and

(b) the foster home has been inspected,

by or on behalf of the Director in accordance with regulations under section 107(f).

(5) A person who is a relative or guardian of a child shall not be treated as a foster parent of the child under subsection (2) unless—

(a) at the time when the arrangement or agreement for undertaking the care and maintenance of the child was made it was the intention of both the person who undertook the care and maintenance of the child and the person who gave the child to the first-mentioned person that the first-mentioned person would be the foster parent of the child; or

(b) where there was no intention as provided under paragraph (a), the child has remained in the care and maintenance of the first-mentioned person for a continuous period of more than one year and during that period the first-mentioned person has acted as a foster parent of the child.

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