This book is concerned with the regulation of family relationships with particular reference to the issue of contact in the many different contexts in which it may arise. The presumption of contact, or of openness and inclusivity, is evident in a wide range of associated areas of family life. Nonetheless, this shift towards a presumption of contact, and its articulation within diverse fields of family law and practice in the UK, raises a whole series of questions which this book seeks to explore. Among the more important are: Why has the contact presumption emerged? What is meant by "contact", and with whom? What is the role of law and other forms of external intervention in promoting, regulating or facilitating contact and to what extent should "familial" relationships be subject to state regulation? More broadly, what can we infer about current conceptualizations of family, parenting and childhood from policy and practice towards contact? These and other questions were explored in a series of seminars organized by the Cambridge Socio-Legal Group in 2002. The book is the product of these seminars.
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