Along with whether or not a parent can record a child protection meeting, the question mark over whether a biological parent can apply for contact after an adoption order has been made, is one we are asked often. This very helpful summary from Suspicious Minds gives a good breakdown of the provision for this, which came into force with the Children and Families Act 2014.
Essentially, the law now allows biological parents to make an application for contact after an adoption order has been made, although pre 2014 any contact arrangements would have been dealt with before the order was completed. Today, biological parents can apply for contact either before or after an adoption order. Noteworthy too is that this power to apply does not just extend to orders made after 2014, it includes all adoption orders prior to 2014, also.
The summary over at Suspicious Minds is worth a read, as he goes into the nuance of this particular contact provision, explains the mechanics behind leave to apply to make such an order, and describes some of the issues stemming from this provision. And whilst he is sensitive to biological parents, and the adoptive parent and their anxieties over the impact of this provision, and we understand why, over at Researching Reform our emphasis is on the importance of keeping biological ties alive wherever possible and if the child so wishes and is able to express that wish. Because whilst unconditional love, if you’re lucky enough to find it as a child, can come in many forms not always rooted in biology, we are acutely aware that children need a connection to their roots to develop a sense of self. This of course opens up another area of debate which we are passionate about, namely adoption reform, but that is another discussion for another day (at least in this post, commenters are more than welcome to talk about this in the comment box below).
Going back to the summary above on contact after a child is adopted, there are as you might imagine thresholds to cross before anyone will consider a biological parent’s right to contact. It is also worth noting that the right to apply for contact after adoption does not just include biological parents but a list of other ‘eligible’ people, like former guardians, other blood relatives and more. However, the provision is there.
Many thanks to Dana for sharing this item with us.