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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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ADOPTION: DL and ML v Newham LBC and Secretary of State for Education [2011] EWHC 1127 (Fam)
Date:23 JUN 2011

(Family Division; Charles J; 27 May 2011)

A 3-year-old child was placed with prospective adopters. Over a year later the authority gave adopters notice requiring them to return child without full reasons and an opportunity to comment.  The authority expressed concerns about raised voices, standards of hygiene, conflicts with neighbours, poor relationships with professionals and frequent changes of address.

Held that there had been a breach of procedural rights under Art 8 and the authority's duty of procedural fairness. The decisions were quashed and the authority was required to reconsider whether to return the child. The legislation was not incompatible with the Convention.