Sometimes Parental Love is Not Enough – Court Sanctions Boy's Adoption

13th November 2023 By

Parents may be worthy of praise and deeply love their children, but it sadly does not always follow that they are able to provide them with a stable home. The High Court made that point in sanctioning a little boy’s placement for adoption.

Due to concerns that he was not receiving a good enough standard of parenting, a local authority placed him in temporary foster care and sought care and placement orders. His parents, although separated, staunchly resisted plans for his adoption, arguing that his mother was able to look after him. His paternal grandmother was willing to step in as primary carer if the mother proved unable to cope.

Ruling on the matter, the Court had no doubt that all three adults, along with other family members, held the boy very dear to their hearts and wanted the best for him. They were entirely genuine in their motivations and their desire to keep him within their family. The polite and courteous way in which they conducted themselves during the proceedings was highly impressive.

The Court noted the high likelihood that adoption would in due course lead to the complete severance of the boy’s relationship with his parents and wider family. He was currently benefiting from those relationships via contact sessions and ending them would be detrimental to him. There was a risk that he would be left with an embedded sense of loss.

The mother, however, bore the emotional scars of her troubled childhood. She had a history of cannabis abuse and a mental health expert’s report indicated that she had unstable and sensation-seeking personality traits. Her feelings of loneliness and distress gave rise to professional concerns that she might prioritise a relationship with a partner over her own welfare and that of her child.

The father also had a history of psychiatric and substance abuse issues and frankly accepted that he was not currently well placed to care for the boy. The paternal grandmother’s property was in a poor condition. Her advancing years and other factors cast doubt on whether she would be able to provide the boy with a safe and appropriate home in which he could thrive throughout his childhood.

The mother was making progress in tackling her problems, but the Court found that it would be far too risky to place the burden of primary care on her at a relatively early stage in her therapeutic journey. Her plea that the case should be adjourned to enable a further assessment of her parenting abilities was rejected.

Granting the council the orders sought, the Court found that the boy, whose welfare was paramount, could not wait to be placed in the security of a permanent home. Options short of adoption simply could not meet his needs within an appropriate timescale. Given the commitment and love that his family had shown him, the Court urged that consideration be given to some form of open adoption in which a level of contact between them might be maintained.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Relationship Status Put Under Spotlight in Divorce Case

26th February, 2024 By

Divorce proceedings are rarely cut and dry, especially where the passage of time adds complexity to matters. This was certainly so in a recent case that required a Family Court judge to rule on the validity of a decree nisi. The case centred on the divorce proceedings of a couple in their fifties and focused on a decree nisi that had been pronounced in 2012, following an application by the husband. Now seeking to finalise the divorce with a decree absolute, the husband asserted that the decree nisi had been properly...

Will Execution – Remote Witnessing Legislation Expires

22nd February, 2024 By

A legal amendment that was made during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the witnessing of wills to take place via videoconferencing has officially expired. As of 31 January 2024, the Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 is no longer active. It was introduced in response to the pandemic, as a means of facilitating the valid execution of wills via remote witnessing. The Order applied to wills made between 31 January 2020 and 31 January 2022, but was later extended to 31 January 2024. Section 9 of the Wills Act...

Psychotherapy Condition Leads to Contact Order Appeal

20th February, 2024 By

Wherever possible, the courts will do what they can to support contact between parents and children but, in some instances, that contact comes with conditions attached. The nature of such conditions was the cause of contention in recent appeal proceedings brought by the father of two young boys. The man appealed against a High Court order that allowed for contact periods with his children, which would progress from supervised to unsupervised and increase in length but were dependent upon him engaging in psychotherapy. This condition had been imposed following a...

Beware of Builders Offering Cut-Price Work – Court of Appeal Cautionary Tale

16th February, 2024 By

Every householder should understand the dire risks involved in opening their doors to those promising to carry out cut-price building work. A Court of Appeal decision provided distressing examples of almost the worst that can happen. A householder approaching retirement age was taken in by a workman who knocked on his door, offering to paint the front of his home for £1,000. He was introduced to another man – the offender – whom the workman described as his business partner. The pair proceeded, over a period of months, to carry...