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ADOPTION/IMMIGRATION: MN (India) v Entry Clearance Officer [2008] EWCA Civ 38

Date:11 FEB 2008

(Court of Appeal; Ward, Keene and Wilson LJJ; 5 February 2005)

The Indian child's natural father had died and the mother was ill; British citizens of Indian origin adopted the child under Indian law, taking on financial responsibility for her. Although the adoption was not valid in England the adoptive parents sought to bring the child to England as an adopted child. The entry clearance officer refused the application; the immigration judge dismissed the appeal, as did the tribunal.

The immigration judge had made no error of law in refusing entry clearance, notwithstanding the resultant interference in family life; the judge had been entitled to attach considerable weight to the fact that the adoptive parents could have sought leave for the child to enter for purpose of a UK adoption, but had chosen not to do so. None of the professional checks, required under English law as elementary to an analysis of whether a child's interests were served by living as an adopted child in the home of others, had been undertaken; such checks were regarded as necessary not only under English law, but also at international level.