A couple has been told that the adoption they secured in Brazil will be recognised in England and Wales.
In Re G (children), the adoptive parents sought the recognition in order to make it easier for them to relocate to England on a permanent basis.
The three children, born in Brazil, had been “neglected”, “undernourished” and “under-stimulated” by their biological parents. The mother was said to suffer from depression and the father was “occasionally abusive”.
The children were cared for by the father’s older sister and her husband, called ‘Mr and Mrs G’ in the judgment, when the biological parents “recognised that they were failing”.
Mr and Mrs G travelled with the three children extensively as a result of Mr G’s work. While the family lived in the Philippines capital of Manila, Mr and Mrs G adopted the youngest child, identified as ‘F’, whom they had been caring for since birth.
As a result of the adoption taking place in the Philippines, and with the consent of the parents, section 66(1)(c) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 recognised it as a ‘convention adoption’. This is due to the Philippines being a signatory to the 1993 Hague Adoption Convention, which legally recognises any adoption made in a ‘convention country’ by any other signatory.
When Mr G’s job took him to England, Mrs G and the children were unable to stay with him for longer than six months at a time on visitors’ visas. As a result, they applied to adopt the other two children in Brazil.
Mr and Mrs G had to apply to the High Court for the adoption to be recognised as, at the time of the adoption, Brazil was not a participant in the adoption convention.
Mr Justice Cobb ruled that the adoptions of the two other children would be legally recognised in England and Wales. He added that the he believed the decision would “assist [the children] legitimately to enter this country and remain here” but would not guarantee the family’s attempt to relocate.
Photo of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Carlos Ortega via Flickr