(Family Division, Cobb J, 16 July 2013)
Within a few months of the baby being placed, the proposed adoptive mother developed a brain tumour. It was successfully removed but left her without sight. Shortly afterwards the local authority informed the adoptive mother that the placement would be terminated. An injunction was granted preventing the local authority from taking that course.
The adoptive mother now sought an adoption order and following a number of positive assessments including those from Great Ormond St Hospital and Focal Point UK, that application was supported by the local authority and the children's guardian.
The assessments noted a strong emotional bond between the mother and child and that a secure emotional attachment was developing. The adoptive mother was found to be highly motivated and swift to learn new aptitudes as a blind parent.
The adoptive mother had demonstrated an outstanding ability to manage the stresses of a sudden disability and prioritise the needs of the child, providing a very high standard of loving and nurturing care. An adoption order was in the best interests of the child both now and for the balance of her childhood. It was agreed that the mother would access the support of Focal Point UK for the next 12 months, largely, funded by the local authority.