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Relinquishing a baby for adoption: the legal framework for local authorities

Date:23 JUL 2020
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Malvika Jaganmohan, St Ives Chambers
Madeleine Whelan, FOURTEEN Chambers

In this article, barristers Malvika Jaganmohan (St Ives Chambers) and Madeleine Whelan (Fourteen) explore the practical and legal framework of relinquishing children for consensual adoption through the ‘fast-track’ route; in contrast with the traditional non-consensual adoption cases. The article explores the potential pitfalls of relinquishment, notably in cases where parents have changed their minds regarding adoption and the appropriate response for the local authorities to take in these circumstances. The article further examines cases where mothers seek to keep consensual adoptions confidential from fathers or paternal family members in light of the case of A, B And C (Adoption: Notification of Fathers And Relatives) [2020] EWCA Civ 41. That case, released earlier this year, is one in which the President considers three cases of potential adoption where the mothers sought to maintain confidentiality. The article concludes by explaining that the relinquishment process must be kept under close review by local authorities in order to avoid unsatisfactory outcomes for children and their families. 

The full article will be published in the August issue of Family Law

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