Parents involved in care and the adoption process can take heart from a recent case that came before the Court of Appeal.
In a judgement given on 17th September 2013 the court set out some clear views about the manner in which such cases should proceed.
Mr Justice Munby, the President of the Family Division, the most senior of the Family judges, expressed his and the appeal court’s concern about cases that came before the court where there was insufficient analysis of the reasons used to justify and support the case for adoption.
It was emphasised that adoption, which means a break with a child’s natural family, is a “draconian” step and that the evidence in support of the application must be thorough with a careful analysis of the case both for and against.
There is also a clear indication that the interests of the child and the importance of the issues involved should not be set aside through a strict application of the timetable procedure for such cases which has recently been tightened and shortened.
Parents of children in such cases can be encouraged by the knowledge that the Court will be expecting any local authority applicant to meet the high standards of preparation and analysis that these cases deserve, given the issues involved.
Mr Justice Munby explains,
“If, despite all, the court does not have the kind of evidence we have identified, and is therefore not properly equipped to decide these issues, then an adjournment must be directed, even if this takes the case over 26 weeks. Where the proposal before the court is for non-consensual adoption, the issues are too grave, the stakes for all are too high, for the outcome to be determined by rigorous adherence to an inflexible timetable and justice thereby potentially denied.”
The adoption process can be a confusing and overwhelming experience, let us guide and advise you so that we can help you receive the best possible outcome of your case.