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Re TJ (Relinquished Baby: Sibling Contact) [2017] EWFC 6

Date:6 FEB 2017
Third slide
Law Reporter

(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.

Neutral Citation Number: [2017] EWFC 6

Case No: LS166/16


Family Court
Coverdale House
East Parade

Date: 02/02/2017


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In the matter of TJ (Relinquished Baby: Sibling Contact)

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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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Judgment Approved


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.

Re TJ (Relinquished Baby Sibling Contact) [2017] EWFC 6.rtf
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