Section 9 of the 2014 children and families act

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REASSURANCE TO ADOPTERS ABOUT THE RECENT CHILDREN'S ACT PROVISIONS ON CONTACT

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Section 9 of the 2014 children and families act

  1. 1. SECTION 9 OF THE 2014 CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT The Children and Families Act does not provide a new route for members of the birth family to apply for contact (with their birth child). Section 9 of the Act (which inserts new section 51A and 51B into the Adoption and Children Act 2002) does enable a member of the child’s birth family to ask the court for leave to apply for a contact order but this is not a change to the current law. Under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 it is currently open to a member of the child’s birth family to ask the court for leave to apply for a section 8 contact order at any time after the adoption order has been made. The only change from the existing arrangements under section 8 of the 1989 Act is that the adopted child will no longer need the leave of the court to apply for contact or for an order prohibiting contact. Other members of the birth family will need to apply to the court for leave as is the case now. Also, adopters will be able to apply for the first time for an order prohibiting contact between members of the birth family (and other persons listed in new section 51A(3) and the adopted child. Following the commencement of section 9 of the Children and Families Act applications for contact at the adoption order stage and post-adoption order will have to be made under the new provisions (where they apply) and not under section 8 of the Children Act 1989.

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