MPs pass bill to enforce contact

A bill to enforce contact between parents and their children and to tighten inter-country adoption rules passed its third reading in the House of Commons last week.

The Children and Adoption Bill will enable courts to force parents in private law proceedings to undertake activities, such as parenting classes, to support contact, and to enforce contact by punishing those who breach contact orders with unpaid work.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service will have new responsibilities to monitor compliance with contact orders and activities to support contact.

Cafcass practitioners will also have to do a risk assessment and report its results to the courts if they believe a child is at risk.

The legislation will allow the government to suspend adoptions from particular countries if it has concerns.

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