Where the court has jurisdiction by virtue of section 43 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to make an order for the custody of a child and it appears to the court that there are exceptional circumstances making it impracticable or undesirable for the child to be entrusted to either of the parties to the marriage or to any other individual, the court may if it thinks fit make an order committing the care of the child to the council.
The authority specified in an order under section 43 of the Act shall be the local authority for the area in which the child was in the opinion of the court resident before the order was made to commit the child to the care of a local authority, and the court shall before making an order hear any representations from the local authority including any representation as to the making of a financial provision order in favour of the child.
While an order made by virtue of this section is in force with respect to a child, the child shall continue in the care of the local authority notwithstanding any claim by a parent or other person.
An order made under section 43 of the Act shall cease to have effect as respects any child when he becomes 18, and the court shall not make an order committing a child to the care of a local authority as per this section after he has become 17.
The court shall have power from time to time by an order under this section to vary or discharge any provision made in pursuance of section 43 of the Act.