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Court of Appeal dismisses Local Authority appeal against court’s refusal to make a placement order in relation to a two-year-old girl

Wednesday 24 June 2020

James Holmes of the Garden Court Family Team appeared in the case of LC (Placement Order) [2020] EWCA Civ 787, on behalf of the Respondent Father instructed by Adeeba Naseem of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

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The Respondent Father, along with the Children’s Guardian successfully persuaded the Court of Appeal that ‘…. the recorder in this case carried out a fair and balanced analysis and her decision cannot be described as wrong’, resulting in the Court of Appeal dismissing the Local Authority’s Appeal.

Of note within the judgment of Lord Justice Baker at [45 – 46], he confirms that when a court is considering whether to approve a Local Authority Care Plan for Adoption the factors in Section 1(4)(f) Adoption and Children Act 2002;

’45,  … It will be a major focus – perhaps the major focus – in nearly every case in which a care plan for adoption is contested by the birth family. In most cases, the effect of adoption is to sever the child’s relationships with all members of her birth family. And as Baroness Hale of Richmond observed in Re B [2013]:

“…it is quite clear that the test for severing the relationship between parent and child is very strict: only in exceptional circumstances and where motivated by overriding requirements pertaining to the child’s welfare, in short, where nothing else will do.”

46. It follows that, before severing the relationships between the child and the birth family, a judge must look very carefully, amongst other things, at the quality of those relationships, the likelihood of the relationships continuing, and the value to the child of their doing so.'

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