Hungary should assume jurisdiction in a case involving a child born and left in the UK, the High Court has ruled.
In DS (A child), the child was born in the UK to Hungarian parents, neither of whom spoke English, in March of 2013.
The mother left England to return to Hungary shortly after the birth of the child, called ‘DS’ in court documents, leaving him behind.
DS was in the care of other Hungarian nationals when the mother left England, but none of them were related to the child.
Mr Justice Moylan noted that the reasons for the mother’s arrival in England and for her return to Hungary without her child were not clear.
Following the child’s abandonment, the local authority launched care proceedings, with the plan “that DS should be adopted by a family in England.”
Despite the local authority’s plan, Mr Justice Moylan ruled that Hungary was better suited to assume jurisdiction in this case.
His reasons included:
“(a) The mother and father and all other extended family members live in Hungary;
(b) The mother and father and all other extended family members speak Hungarian and do not speak English.
(c) The mother and the father have always lived in Hungary, save for a very short period of months in England.”
He went on to rule that the only connection DS really had to England was that he was born and lived here.
The judge also said that while a move to Hungary would be a “new and unknown environment and culture” for DS, he concluded:
“DS is very likely to have to move to a new home in any event, so that the potential for greater disruption arises from the fact that the move is to a new country. Having regard to the child’s age, in my judgment this is a move which will not have enduring consequences.”
The Hungarian authorities agreed to assume jurisdiction of the case and immediate steps were taken to place DS into foster care in Hungary.
Photo of Budapest, Hungary by Paolo Margari via Flickr