- Joanna Miles, Joanna MilesReader in Family Law & Policy and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge
- Rob GeorgeRob GeorgeAssociate Professor of Family Law, University College London
- and Sonia Harris-ShortSonia Harris-ShortFormer Professor of Law, University of Birmingham
All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter examines the place of adoption within the government’s child protection policy, the legal framework for adoption under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (ACA 2002), the core principles underpinning the ACA 2002, the adoption process, and the ongoing reform agenda. It considers the application of the welfare principle to three contentious issues: (i) the importance of the birth family in an adoption dispute; (ii) trans-racial adoption; and (iii) step-parent adoptions and adoptions by a sole natural parent. The chapter also examines the issue of ‘open adoption’, focusing on adopted children’s right to information about their birth families and provision for post-adoption contact, and, finally, considers the main alternative to adoption: special guardianship.