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Opposition to adoption permitted at the eleventh hour

Date:27 MAY 2024
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Mary Welstead Visiting Professor in Family law University of Buckingham

The judgment in M (A Child: Leave to Oppose Adoption) illustrates the confusion relating to the requirements which a parent must meet in order to make a last-minute attempt to prevent a child from being adopted.  

The child was born to a seventeen-year-old mother and a fifteen-year-old father. They had both experienced challenging upbringings and had mental health problems. On the birth of the baby the local authority issued care proceedings and the mother and child were placed in a mother and baby foster home. The mother was unable to relate to the child and left the baby behind and returned to her own mother. Further care proceedings resulted in a placement order and the child went to live with prospective adoptive parents who then made an application to adopt the child. The mother and father applied for leave to oppose the adoption which was granted. The local Authority successfully appealed the decision.

The Appeal Court judgment illustrates the problems of s47 (5) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (ACA 2002) which requires a two-stage process...

Read the full article here.