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Adoption is ‘lesser of two evils’

A Family Court judge has described the adoption of a two year-old boy as “the lesser of two evils”.

Sitting at the Family Court in Leeds, Her Honour Judge Lynch said although removing the child from his family could be difficult for him, he would suffer “inevitable harm” if he remained in his mother’s care.

The local authority applied for care and placement orders which would allow them to find the boy, ‘X’, a new adoptive family. They launched proceedings after they received an anonymous tip that the mother had been neglecting X. He had allegedly been “left in dirty nappies” and had eaten out of a dog bowl. Additionally, there were concerns about the number of young people the mother had asked to babysit for him. X had also received “a number of injuries due to inadequate supervision and inappropriate methods of managing behaviour”.

Judge Lynch noted that she could not say with any certainty who X’s father was. She said DNA testing had shown that the man who was named on X’s birth certificate was not his biological father. There were two other possible fathers but one refused to be tested and the other did not respond to the local authority.

While the mother said she wanted to care for X, she understood that she was “not in a position to do so”. One of the reasons for this was that she lived in a hostel and had “no immediate prospect of … getting better housing”.

The judge said that adoption should only be used as a “last resort” in cases like this. She added that she needed to “make the least interventionist order possible”. Judge Lynch concluded that, based on the evidence, it would be in X’s best interests to be adopted. Therefore, she approved care and placement orders for X.

To read X (A Child : placement order), 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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