The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that the two youngest children in a family of seven should be placed for adoption in contrast to their five older siblings who were to enter long term foster placements.
The case concerned a mother of seven children, ranging in age from 15 to three years. She had various emotional difficulties as a result of the neglect she suffered during her childhood. Despite efforts to improve her parenting skills, a clinical psychologist concluded that she would not be able to properly care for her children without long-term therapy.
Care orders were made for all seven children. The five eldest were to placed in long term foster care but the two youngest were to be put up for adoption – in a joint placement if that proved possible but in separate placements otherwise. The local authority said it would undertake ‘parallel planning’ (planning for different care possibilities) to minimise disruption to the children.
The mother appealed the ruling regarding the youngest children on various grounds. She argued that the plan was unrealistic, uncertain and not consider how they would respond to being treated differently to the older siblings.
Mrs Justice Baron rejected her arguments. She acknowledged that the mother:
“… finds it extremely difficult (which is understandable) to consider that two of her children may be treated differently from their five siblings.”
Nevertheless, different solutions were sometimes necessary to ensure that each child had “ the best start in life”.
Photo by AdamRozanas via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence