CARE/CONTACT: Re H (Termination of Contact) [2005] EWCA Civ 318

02 FEB 2005

(2 February 2005; Thorpe, Potter and Sedley LJJ; Court of Appeal) [2005] 2 FLR 408

The local authority care plan for the children provided for adoption. No adopters had yet been identified. There was expert evidence which supported continuing contact with the parents as not detrimental to the interests of the children. The judge refused the authority's application under Children Act 1989, s 34(4) for termination of contact for a period prior to the planned adoption. Notwithstanding the local authority's practical concerns, the judge had been entitled to refuse to terminate contact with the parents. The function of the judge in granting s 34(4) orders restrictively and stringently was an important one. The judge was applying the relevant principles impeccably in questioning the appropriateness of such a powerful order for such an uncertain and limited future use.

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