A mother of five has failed in her legal bid to prevent the adoption of two of her sons.
Two of the woman’s children had already been adopted and another had been placed with his grandparents under a special guardianship order. All five had been taken away by Kent County Council following concerns about her ability to care for them.
These concerns included very poor school attendance, accusations of domestic violence in the mother’s previous relationship and “verbal altercations” between her and her current partner. While the mother accepted that these claims were true, she “wholly disputed” claims that she had exposed the children to “unhygienic” and “unsafe” conditions in her house. She further disputed claims of domestic violence in her current relationship.
Despite her objections, care and placement orders were made which allowed the council to find adoptive homes for the two youngest children. She appealed the orders unsuccessfully and “permission to appeal the appeal was also refused”.
In April, an adoption order was made to complete the process of finding a new home for the boys. The mother sought permission to oppose this. Under Section 47(5) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, a parent cannot oppose an adoption order unless the court rules that their circumstances have changed since the initial placement order was made.
The mother noted that she had completed a parenting course and claimed that “the best person to bring up a child is the natural parent” in the eyes of the law. She also maintained that there had been no domestic violence between her and her partner, but that she had nonetheless attended a course run by a domestic violence victim support group.
Sitting in the Medway County Court, Her Honour Judge Cameron said there was “no supporting evidence … to support her attendance on completing that course”. She was unconvinced that the mother’s circumstances had changed enough to allow her to challenge the adoption order.
The judge concluded that allowing the mother to challenge the adoption would cause “a major and probably very traumatic upheaval” for her sons. Therefore, she had “no hesitation whatsoever” in refusing the mother’s application.
KCC v T (Leave to Oppose Adoption Application) is available in full online. To read it, click here.
Photo of the Kent County Council building in Maidstone by Jacqui Sadler via Wikipedia