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(Court of Appeal, Rimer, Black, Kitchin LJJ, 23 October 2013)
The 4-year-old child was reported to be very troubled and in need of intensive therapy. The psychologist did not refer to her as unadoptable but reported that she would need a programme of therapeutic parenting before adoption could be considered. Nevertheless at a final hearing final care and placement orders were granted. The father's first appeal of the placement order was refused.
On appeal to the Court of Appeal the appeal was allowed. It was clear from the psychological evidence that it was impossible to tell whether adoption would be appropriate for the child until she had undertaken some therapy. At which point it would depend on how she had progressed and also what adopters were available at the time. On the totality of the evidence it was not established that the child's welfare throughout her life required adoption. It was wrong for the court to have granted a placement order.