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Re A and others (Children) (Adoption) [2017] EWHC 35 (Fam)

Date:31 JAN 2017
Third slide
Law Reporter

(Family Division Sir James Munby the President of the Family Division, 17 January 2017)

Adoption – Scottish orders – Recognition – Whether permanence orders made by the Scottish court should be recognised by the English court – Whether the issue of consent needed to be reconsidered

The President held that Scottish permanence orders should be recognised by the English court.

In six cases applications for adoption were made by prospective adoptive parents living in England in respect of Scottish children. A Scottish Sheriff had made a permanence order with authority to adopt pursuant to ss 80 and 83 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007. Orders were also made dispensing with parental consent. Different provisions for contact with the birth parents were made in each case.

It fell to be determined, inter alia, whether the permanence order should be recognised by the English court and whether the English court needed to obtain consent from the parents before an adoption order could be made.

The President held that there was no doubt that the English court had jurisdiction to make adoption orders. There was nothing in the 2002 Act requiring the English court to consider again the question of parental consent when that had already been dealt with by the Scottish court. There was clear legislative intent to marry up the Scottish and English procedures. The English court should recognise the Sottish orders.

The birth parents were not considered ‘parents’ for the purposes of the 2002 Act since they no longer had parental responsibility. Contact was only one facet of parental responsibility.

None of the natural parents were entitled to be joined to the proceedings. Except where orders had been made terminating all contact, the parents could as a matter of discretion be given the opportunity to be heard but only in relation to the issue of future contact.

Neutral Citation Number: [2017] EWHC 35 (Fam)

Case Numbers omitted


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 17 January 2017


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In the matter of A, B, C, D, E and F (Children)

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Mr Nicholas Stonor QC and Mr Justin Gray (instructed by Hadaway & Hadaway) for the guardians of A, B, C, E and F
Ms Lorraine Cavanagh (instructed by John Whittle Robinson Solicitors) for the guardian of D
Ms Deirdre Fottrell QC (instructed by Russell Cooke) for the prospective adoptive parents of D
Ms Alexandra Conroy Harris (of Newcastle City Council) for Newcastle City Council
Ms Frances Heaton QC (instructed by the local authority) for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
Mr Alan Inglis of the English Bar and Scottish Bar (instructed by local authority solicitors) lodged written submissions on behalf of Dundee City Council, Clackmannanshire Council and Scottish Borders Council

Hearing date: 16 November 2016

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Judgment Approved This judgment was handed down in open court

Re A and Others (Children)(Adoption) [2017] EWHC 35 (Fam).rtf
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