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Adoption and Children Act 2002

Section 26: Contact

93.Sections 26 and 27 make provision for applications for contact in respect of children placed for adoption and where an adoption agency is authorised to place a child for adoption under section 19 or under a placement order. Subsection (1) provides that where an adoption agency is authorised to place a child for adoption, or a child is placed for adoption who is less than 6 weeks old, any contact order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 or an order under section 34 of that Act (parental contact with children in care) ceases to have effect. The arrangements set out in previous contact orders may no longer be appropriate.  The objective should be to agree whatever new arrangements for contact are appropriate given the adoptive placement. However, should agreement not be possible, an application may be made to the court for an order for contact.  The application may be made by the child or the agency or the parent or other persons who are identified in subsection (3).  On an application the court may make an order requiring the person with whom the child lives or is to live to allow the child to visit or stay with the person named in the order or for that person and the child otherwise to have contact with each other.

94.Subsection (5) provides that section 26 does not prevent an application for a contact order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 being made where the application is to be heard together with an application for an adoption order.  This means that at the final adoption order hearing the court may make a contact order under section 8, ensuring that the court can make whatever arrangements may be appropriate for contact following the making of the final adoption order. This replicates the position under the current legislative framework.

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