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Is the wind of change about to blow through adoption?

Date:11 MAR 2024
Third slide

Andrew Bainham Emeritus Reader in Family Law and Policy University of Cambridge

Is the time now right to consider radical reform of adoption in English law?  

In the light of the recent interim report of the Public Law Working Group Sub-Group on Adoption the author takes up the theme of post-adoption contact. He argues that real change could better be achieved by introducing the legal institution of simple adoption or something similar as a modern child protection mechanism. 

The author reviews recent decisions of the Court of Appeal which have up-held refusals by judges to make placement orders or allowed appeals against them. Such decisions demonstrate that where a significant amount of contact with the birth family is envisaged adoption may be inappropriate.  He then asks whether the ‘transplant’ model or ‘full’ adoption should survive. He concludes that it should be confined to extreme cases. In other cases simple adoption could allow the child to benefit from a legal relationship with both the adoptive and birth families. It could create an important new option for long-term carers. The child could maintain a legal family relationship with...

Read the full article here.