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Meta Title :Re TJ (Relinquished Baby: Sibling Contact)  EWFC 6
Meta Keywords :Public law children – Adoption – Contact with half siblings – Whether the local authority should be permitted not to disclose information about the child with his birth family
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Feb 6, 2017, 08:55 AM
Article ID :113726
(Family Court, Cobb J, 2 February 2017)
Public law children – Adoption – Contact with half siblings – Whether the local authority should be permitted not to disclose information about the child with his birth family
The declaration sought by the adoption agency was granted.
The 15-month-old child was relinquished for adoption at birth by his mother and moved to live with prospective adopters shortly after. The father was unknown. The local authority sought a declaration that it was permitted not to disclose the existence of the child to his birth family including a former half-sibling.
The mother had two older children but only one lived with her. She attempted to relinquish the other child for adoption but he now lived with his father and adoptive mother.
The child was reportedly thriving in the care of the adopters and the local authority submitted that no steps should be taken which might disrupt that placement. The mother supported that position. The adopters were initially opposed to any information being shared with the half sibling’s family but now contended that they would facilitate indirect contact.
After a full consideration of the welfare factors, the court was persuaded to give effect to the wishes of the mother, and the view of the adopters. Considerable significance was attached to the value of the current placement, and the adopters’ fear of disruption if contact of any kind were ordered. The limited benefit to the child of infrequent indirect contact for identity purposes did not outweigh those significant considerations.
The prospective adopters were neither present nor represented Brett Davies (Solicitor-Advocate) for the Local Authority as Adoption Agency The mother was not present nor represented Miss Julia Nelson (instructed by Ison Harrison) for the child (TJ)
Hearing dates: 24 January 2017
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THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE COBB
This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published on condition that (irrespective of what is contained in the judgment) in any published version of the judgment the anonymity of the children and members of their family must be strictly preserved. All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with. Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.