A teenage mother has lost her appeal against the adoption of her child.
In Re D, the girl had given birth at the age of 19 while living in foster care. She had been moved on to new placements frequently due to her behaviour. Eventually she moved into her own flat but magistrates said she had not yet demonstrated that she could provide a stable home for her child, or even that she could live independently.
The baby was placed with prospective adopters while the girl applied for permission to oppose the adoption, arguing that her circumstances had changed. The judge was unconvinced, saying that while there was evidence she made changes to her lifestyle, she had failed to begin counselling and had also assaulted a police offer while under the influence of drink. Meanwhile the child had settled with the adoptive family. The judge refused her application and she appealed.
But, sitting at the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Moses, Lady Justice Black and Lady Justice Gloster were unsympathetic to her arguments, saying the earlier judge had been entitled to come to conclusions he did. He had weighed evidence of the mother’s efforts against that her of immaturity and had been entitled to conclude that she would not be able to persuade a court that she could look after a baby.