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Troubled parents fail in bid to prevent daughter’s adoption

The Court of Appeal has rejected a couple’s attempt to prevent their one year-old daughter being put up for adoption.

In C (A Child), the parents appealed against care and placement orders made by a judge in the Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court. These orders would allow the local authority to find and place the girl in an adoptive home.

The orders had been made because of “the level of the risk posed to the mother and [child] by the father”. He had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and ‘dissocial personality disorder’. According to, people who suffer from this condition display “impulsive, irresponsible and often criminal behaviour”.

Despite his refusal to accept the diagnosis, the father had been admitted to hospital numerous times for mental health related issues. During the initial hearing, he claimed each of the admissions had been “inappropriate”.

The father also had “a substantial criminal record with convictions for 30 offences with 10 different aliases”. These included drug offences and incidents of serious violence.

Immediately following the child’s birth, she lived with her mother and maternal grandmother, with the father only allowed supervised contact. After care and placement orders were made, the parents abducted their daughter. They were found five days later, and said the abduction was only done out of “their desperation not to lose their child”.

Shortly afterwards, the parents launched an appeal against the initial judge’s orders. However, Lady Justice King said that there were “no grounds of appeal which can be sustained on the evidence that was before the judge at trial”, so she dismissed it.

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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