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This article discusses policy and case-law relating to 'openness' in adoption and particularly to direct (face-to-face) post-adoption contact. It considers critically the proposition that courts should be more proactive in safeguarding contact through, for example, making contact orders under section 8 of the Children Act 1989, alongside adoption orders. The authors refer to their empirical research with adopters, adopted children and birth families to argue that the way in which adoption constructs parenthood and conveys a sense of ownership and control can serve to facilitate continuing contact.
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