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Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 23: Contact

Sections 23 and 24 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 16 or under a placement order. Subsection (1) of section 23 provides that where an adoption agency is authorised to place a child for adoption, or a child who is less than 6 weeks old is placed for adoption, any provision for contact under Article 8 or Article 53 (parental contact with children in care) of the Children Order ceases to have effect, as 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, if agreement cannot be reached, an application may be made to the court for an order for contact. Such an application may be made by the child or the adoption 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 (subsection (2)). The court may also, on its own initiative, make an order under this section when making a placement order (subsection (4)).

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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