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Love is ‘not enough’ to prevent adoption

The Family Court has ruled that a couple’s love for their son is not enough to prevent his adoption.

Her Honour Judge Pemberton ruled that while her decision may be “devastating for the parents and for the wider family” it was in the boy’s best interests to be adopted.

North East Lincolnshire Council launched proceedings shortly after the child, ‘KR’, was born. There was a history of domestic violence between his parents.

The parent’s relationship was “a complicated one”, the judge declared, because the father was the mother’s step-uncle – he was the son of her grandfather’s wife. Additionally, the mother was very young when they began their relationship: the father claimed she was 16 but she maintained that she was just 15 at the start.

Not only was their relationship complicated, it was “extremely volatile”. Many of their disputes were “alcohol fuelled” and had to be resolved by police. In 2013, the father was convicted of battery after a fight with the mother. He also had “a history of mental health difficulties” which he blamed on a 2003 assault during which he suffered “quite serious injuries”.

Once the local authority learned the mother was pregnant, they came up with a plan for the child’s care. Initially they intended to allow the mother to care for her son if she lived away from the father and did not allow him unsupervised access. However, the parents continued to see each other even after KR’s birth.

A psychologist who analysed the couple concluded that the council “should not assume that the mother will remain separate from the father” and that there was “a significant risk of intimate partner violence”.

The local authority subsequently applied for care and placement orders. This would allow them to find a new adoptive family for KR.

Judge Pemberton said that while this was “a very sad case” but ultimately not a difficult one. She said that the parents had not provided any convincing evidence that they were able to change their behaviour and, as a result, KR was “likely to suffer significant neglect, physical and emotional harm” if he remained in their care.

She recognised that the parents both loved their son “but sadly, that love in itself is not enough” to stop the adoption from taking place. Therefore she granted the council’s application and made the requested care and placement orders.

To read Re (Risks from domestic abuse) KR (a child) in full, 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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  1. anon says:

    This does not surprise myself once ss have a grip on your child they never let go no matter what any parent does
    the battle then becomes between the parent and the ss for which the child seems to have been forgotten in the care system and low and behold later on adopted
    What i do not understand is that the emotional damage and turmoil is never considered by anyone when this child is adopted the child would see and know its natural parents and for the rest of that child’s life something will always be missing
    But hey this is the UK where child abuse is covered !!!! and abusing children seem to be the norm but worst still the so called professionals who destroy and abuse these poor kids and parents they walkaway and nothing happens to them
    Children and parents have rights which seem to always be forgotten they are human beings

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