15Sep

Mother wins right to oppose her youngest child being adopted

A mother with a troubled background has won the right to oppose adoption proceedings involving her youngest child.

The Court of Appeal was told that the mother had depression and problems with alcohol that had led to aggression and chaotic parenting.

 

Her son had been removed to foster care in June 2015. His two older siblings had also been removed and care orders were made in relation to all three children.

 

The son was placed with prospective adopters in April 2016 and remained in their care. There was evidence that he was settled there.

 

The mother applied for leave to oppose the adoption under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 on the basis that she was no longer drinking and that there was a possible plan that the two eldest children would be returned to her care.

 

The judge at the first hearing concluded that although the mother’s behaviour was improving, she was still a ‘work in progress’. Her application to oppose adoption proceedings was refused.

 

The Court of Appeal has overturned that decision.

 

It said that important new information had come to light since the first hearing. A plan to return the elder children to the mother’s care had been accelerated so that they were back with her in March 2017, and it was going well.

 

It showed a change of circumstances and a different timescale to the one envisaged by the judge.

 

The new information decided the appeal. Had the judge been aware that the two elder children would be living with the mother, she would probably have made a different decision.

 

The judge’s order was set aside. The mother was granted leave to oppose the adoption of her youngest child and the matter was remitted to a different judge to embark on a full hearing.

 

For more information about this article or any aspect of our family services, please call Jeremy Garson on 020 8907 2000 or click here to email him and he will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for an initial telephone discussion).

Case featured:

 

Mother wins right to oppose her youngest child being adopted

RE D (A CHILD) (2017)

CA (Civ Div) (Sir James Munby PFD, McFarlane LJ) 12/07/2017

 

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