(Court of Appeal, Patten, McFarlane, Floyd LJJ, 6 September 2013)
The mother appealed final care and placement for adoption orders in relation to her two children, aged 11 and 5. When the orders were made it was clear that the priority was for the children to be placed together either through adoption or long-term fostering. In the 12 months since the hearing the local authority had been unable to identify either for the children.
The children had moved short-term foster homes and it became clear as their personalities had developed that it was not necessarily in their best interests to be placed together and that it would be particularly difficult to parent them both in the same home. The plan was now for an adoptive placement to be found for the younger child but for the older child to be placed in long-term foster care. It was agreed that the placement order would be revoked.
During the course of proceedings the local authority conceded that the appropriate way forward was for the younger child's placement order to be revoked and the matter considered afresh in the light of the circumstances that had now arisen. McFarlane LJ agreed that this was a pragmatic and child-focused approach.