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Judge approves international adoption

A Family Court judge has approved the adoption of an eight year-old boy by parents living in another country.

In J (A Child), Judge Simon Wood noted that it had been difficult to find adoptive parents for the child given his age as well as unspecified “behavioural issues”. As a result, the local authority widened its search to other countries.

Although adoptive parents were found abroad, there was a complication in the case. They had mistakenly applied for a domestic adoption, which “[i]nexplicably … passed through the court system … without anyone noticing”. Once the “procedural mess” that followed was untangled, a fresh application was made for an international adoption order by the potential parents. Not long afterwards, the boy began living with them.

Judge Wood commended the couple for the “astonishing job” they had done since the child moved in with them and for providing him with “a loving, caring and stable home”.

He also praised the child’s biological mother for her conduct throughout the process, noting that she had “approached this application with such generosity”. Although she had not consented to an adoption, she had also not opposed it. The judge said he believed that the mother was “really very pleased with the outcome” and would want her son “to know that she loves him very much indeed”. He said that her behaviour was “nothing less than an act of selfless love” on the mother’s part, which demonstrated her willingness to put her child’s needs before her own.

As she had not officially agreed to the adoption, Judge Wood had to “dispense with the consent of the mother” in order to make the necessary order. He said this was “both necessary and proportionate” in this case.

To read the full judgment, click here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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