Adoption of drug dealers’ child must go ahead rules High Court Judge
August 9, 2017 2 comments
The planned adoption of a boy whose parents both deal in drugs must proceed, a High Court Judge has ruled.
They wanted to oppose the adoption of ‘D’, who is four. He had been sent to live with prospective adopters, who now wanted to formalise the arrangement.
D was taken into care last year after a visit to hospital during which doctors found an injured tongue and extensive bruising. Judge Melville QC concluded that these injuries had been inflicted by a regular babysitter and the father, although the mother may also have been involved. None had sought appropriate medical treatment for the boy and the Judge also believed they had all lied about the circumstances. In addition, all three were both drug dealers and users, also indulging in so-called ‘legal highs’. This meant they had been, said the Judge:
“…individually and collectively unavailable, emotionally and physically, for D.”
Judge Melville declared that:
“D is a seriously damaged child: he has been damaged both physically in his parents’ care and emotionally by the neglect of him. He is confused and angry. He has not received the security and safety any child of his age is entitled to expect.”
“Neither of his parents is now prepared to accept these facts although one of them [the mother] is prepared to undergo therapy over 12 to 18 months in order to improve herself. [The father] is just about prepared undergo anger management.”
Adoption would benefit D the Judge concluded, and duly made an adoption order. D’s welfare required him to dispense with the parents’ consent he explained.
They applied for permission to appeal and their application came before Mr Justice Baker at the Family Court in Plymouth. He noted that:
“Where a child has been placed for adoption by an adoption agency under a placement order with the prospective adopters in whose favour the adoption order is proposed to be made, a parent may not oppose the making of the adoption order without the court’s leave [under subsection].47(5) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. The court cannot give leave under this subsection unless satisfied that there has been a change in circumstances since the placement was made [as set out in subsection] 47(7).”
Mr Justice Baker concluded that there was no evidence of real change in the parents’ lifestyle and said the adoption must therefore proceed. Instead of demonstrating personal development the father had seemed more interested in arguing that the earlier ruling had been wrong the Judge noted.
Read Re DB (A Minor) here.
Photo by SuperFantastic via Flickr under a Creative Commons license
August 9, 2017
Categories: Fostering & Adoption