High Court grants contact to grandmother of adopted child

Children|News | 9 Jul 2013 3

The High Court has granted contact to the grandmother of an adopted seven year old boy.

In MF v LB of Brent & Ors, the boy, referred to as P-M, was placed with a foster carer – ‘Ms D’ –  at the age of four months. Four years later, he went to live with his paternal aunt and uncle but the arrangement did not work out and he went back to live with Ms D, who had stayed in touch.

Later the local authority agreed to make the placement with Ms D permanent. At a High Court hearing, Lord Justice Ryder granted a full adoption order in favour of Ms D, but also ruled in favour of an application for contact by the boy’s grandmother. The grandmother, called ‘Ms F’, already cared for the boy’s sister and half brother and had an existing arrangement for contact with P-M once a month but wanted a formal legal order. However Ms D said she thought this was too frequent, fearing that the contact “would in effect generate a life of its own, with which she could not cope.”

After carefully considering the precedents, the judge concluded that:

“… P-M’s welfare throughout his life requires the maintenance of a relationship with his maternal grandmother and sister through whom there will be a relationship with his extended birth family.  Those relationships are important but must take second place to the primary relationship of parent and child which is the relationship between Ms D and P-M.  The contact should contribute to the reassurance and stability of P-M i.e. his feeling of identity without creating a risk of disruption.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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    1. Maggie Tuttle says:

      Thank goodness we have one judge in the system with respect for a grandparent, I just hope this case will help the thousands of grandparents of which so many have spent thousands of pounds on legal fees to see the grandchildren they love only to be sent to their deaths never to see their grandchildren again on this planet. The grandchildren need the love and wisdom of what was their beginnings and please remember we are free to look after our grandchildren as parents we had bills to pay and worked very hard so our time for our children was approx 90% now we have 190% to run play cook love and tell bedtime stories, I will write to Lord Justice Ryder of our plight as grandparents.
      Maggie Tuttle

    2. Lukey says:

      This is ridiculous, Mrs D was wonderful enough to take on P-M after the relatives failed to do so – how on earth can the Judge be stupid enough to grant rights against Mrs D ?

      What happens if Mrs D does not comply with the contact order ? Is the Judge going to remove P-M from Mrs D’s care – and if so to who ? None of the relatives are capable of looking after P-M, that we have already established. Besides, we have to think of P-M, continuity of care is now paramount.

      It is good that P-M stays in contact with relatives, but only as and when Mrs D can do it because Mrs D is doing the ‘hard yards’ of raising P-M.

      One wonders how people become Judges…

    3. Dana says:

      It should be remembered that often children are forcibly adopted out of a family that wants to keep in contact with the child. Grandparents are often ousted out by social workers in looking after their grandchildren. All adoptions should be consensual by birth parents if not they should not be adopted. These parents have no criminal record on harming their children but its acceptable to remove children on little more than the opinion of a social worker and Cafcass who agree with the social worker and Expert psychologists in the pay of the Local Authority! Judges never properly question those opinions even though it must be apparent that day after day the same cut & pasted opinions crop up! The judges fail to do their job dispensing justice. Its not justice merely a process! Shame on them!

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