A judge has approved an adoption for the five month old son of a man convicted for child cruelty.
In JJD (Care & Placement Orders), the boy’s father, identified as ‘DD’ in the judgment, had served a prison sentence after causing “significant and traumatic injuries” to a child from a previous relationship.
The parents had attended the same high school, but did not stay in touch once they left. In 2012, the reconnected through Facebook and began a relationship. They got engaged in 2013.
The mother had three children of her own from previous relationships. They had all lived with her until she became involved with DD. At that point, a local court transferred them each to the care of their biological fathers. This was done as to protect them from possible harm considering DD’s conviction.
Even after the mother was informed of the details regarding DD’s conviction, she maintained the relationship. As a consequence, the local authority launched care proceedings when she gave birth to their son, ‘JJD’.
Salford City Council applied for a care order under section 31 of the Children Act 1989, which would give them responsibility for the child if there is risk of “significant harm”. The council also sought a placement order under section 22 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, which would give them authority to put the child up for adoption if the conditions in the Children Act are met.
Sitting in the Family Court in Manchester, His Honour Judge Iain Hamilton said it was a “sad and tragic case” that the mother had prioritised her relationship with DD above her older children. He added that her choice was “quite simply difficult to understand from any perspective”.
The judge concluded that there was “no prospect” of JJD being placed in the joint care of his parents, given the father’s unwillingness to fully accept responsibility for the injuries inflicted to his other child. He concluded by allowing the council’s request for care and placement orders.
To read the full judgment, click here.
In a similar case, the children of another convicted man were recently put up for adoption by a local court.
Photo of Manchester Civil Justice Centre by Duncan Hull via Flickr