Judge rules children should remain in foster care due to their individual needs

Friday 8 March 2024

Lorna Cservenka of the Garden Court Family Law Team was instructed by Saffron Lewis of Dillex Solicitors.

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The case related to a complex family situation, with Lorna representing the mother of the children at the East London Family Court. Following care proceedings in 2019, the children had been placed with their father under Supervision Orders. The eldest daughter subsequently had a child when she was 14, and she and her baby remained living with the father. The paternity of the baby was not known, but suspicions started to arise that the father had fathered the child with his daughter. The local authority sought the removal of the baby and also of the client’s daughter from the father’s home.

During the proceedings, the court made a finding of fact by way of adverse inference that the baby was fathered by the man who was presenting as its grandfather, following both the mother of the baby and the grandfather refusing to undertake DNA tests. Other family members took DNA tests, which proved the most likely relationship between the baby and the grandfather was that the grandfather was the baby’s father.

The final hearing concerned the issue of whether the children should be subject to final care orders, which would mean the children remain in foster care, or care and placement orders, which would allow the local authority to place them for adoption. The mother, represented by Lorna, wished her daughter to remain in long term foster care, with the foster carers she was already placed with.

The Judge ruled in the mother's favour that both children should remain in foster care due to their individual needs. The Judgment has been published in an anonymised version to protect the identities of the children and their family.

Read the judgment here: London Borough of Newham v Emma & Ors [2024] EWFC 29

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