(Family Division, Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division, 5 May 2017)
Public law children – Adoption – Appeal from adoption order – Date of order
The President clarified the date of an adoption order in circumstances where an appeal was being pursued in the Court of Appeal.
At the conclusion of care proceedings the parents’ consent was dispensed with and an adoption order was granted. The father’s subsequent applications for a leap-frog appeal to the Supreme Court of permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal were refused: Re W (A Child) (No 2)  EWHC 917 (Fam). However, the father was granted a stay for 21 days while he renewed his application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
It fell to be determined whether the adoption order should be dated as when it was first made at the conclusion of the care proceedings or whether it should be treated as not having been made until the determination of the Court of Appeal proceedings.The President held that the date should be that of the original adoption order. If the father’s appeal was successful the adoption order would be set aside. However, it he was unsuccessful it was right that the adoption and the inherent change of status should take effect from the date of the judgment, not from some uncertain date in the future. Such a decision would create no prejudice for anyone since the stay prevented any action being taken in pursuance of the adoption order.