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(Court of Appeal; Sir Nicholas Wall P, Arden and Wilson LJJ; 4 November 2010)
The grandmother was rejected as a possible carer for the child who was placed for adoption. Reports recommended ongoing direct contact, but the adoptive parent considered that meeting with the grandmother would be too emotive and difficult. The local authority wished to replace direct with indirect contact and proceedings resulted. The guardian suggested that proceedings were preventing the adoptive parents from enjoying being the child's parents. The grandmother's application was dismissed and she appealed.
Held that the judge was entitled to dismiss the application regardless of the lack of evidence as to whether the grandmother had been promised ongoing direct contact. The judge had to make his decision on the grounds of the child's welfare alone. The precise terms of a local authority's stance concerning contact recommendations should be communicated in the clearest terms to the family members whose contact was in issue.
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