Adoptive parents challenge child’s removal

Family Law|January 22nd 2016

A couple whose adoptive son is in foster care have challenged his removal in the Court of Appeal.

The Court heard that the boy was placed in the couple’s care five years ago after he had been “traumatised”, although the nature of the trauma was not disclosed. He was officially adopted in 2013 after a successful assessment by social services.

However, the local authority launched care proceedings less than a year later. They believed that the couple might be shouting at the child, as well as hitting and “physically restraining” him. The parents had been unable to give their adoptive son the “high level of nurturing” he needed as a result of his troubled childhood and were in danger of “re-traumatising” him, social workers claimed.

A Family Court judge in Cambridge ruled that the boy had to be placed in foster care. The couple objected to the decision and insisted that he had been “inconsistent and arbitrary” in the ruling. Their barrister argued the Cambridge judge had allowed the “factor of adoption” to influence his final ruling.

The couple’s bid to have their son returned was supported by two Christian campaign groups, the Press Association reports. Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre claimed that the couple had been “treated as if they were not the ‘real’ parents” by the Family Court because they had adopted the boy.

Sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Simon upheld the couple’s challenge and ruled that the case should be completely reheard by the Family Court. They said that they would release a detailed judgment at a later date to explain their reasons.

Photo of Cambridge by Kosala Bandara via Flickr

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