ON APPEAL FROM THE CENTRAL FAMILY COURT
HER HONOUR JUDGE WILLIAMS
ZC05/15 & ZC06/15
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE BEATSON
|RE D (CHILDREN)|
Mr Lee Pearman (instructed by London Borough of Hackney Legal Services) for the Respondent
Ms Maggie Jones (instructed by BPS Solicitors) for the Children's Guardian
Hearing date : 24th June 2015
Crown Copyright ©
i) Has there been a change of circumstances?
ii) If so, are the parents' prospects of opposing the adoption order more than fanciful/do they have solidity?
iii) If so, will the children's welfare be so adversely affected by the grant of leave that it should be refused?
"21. In evaluating the parent's ultimate prospects of success if given leave to oppose, the judge has to remember that the child's welfare is paramount and must consider the child's welfare throughout his life. In evaluating what the child's welfare demands the judge will bear in mind what has happened in the past, the current state of affairs and what will or may happen in future. There will be cases, perhaps many cases, where, despite the change of circumstances, the demands of the child's welfare are such as to lead the judge to the conclusion that the parent's prospects of success lack solidity."
The judge's determination
"25. I have to conclude that in this case an order for adoption is required on welfare grounds. Taking into account all the circumstances and in particular a high probability of further and possibly irreversible damage to these children in view of their history so far and the situation in which they are now placed if leave to oppose is granted. Their welfare needs outweigh the possibility of a placement with their aunt in Jamaica with all the likely concomitant short term and longer term damage and harm to them in these circumstances which could not be avoided in my view"
The grounds of appeal
"It would be inhumane and violently traumatic to wrench them from the family that they have been praying for…. It will be a breach of trust and confidence since everything that they have been told and prepared for will be shown to be a 'lie'. We think that they would find it impossible to trust for a long-term [sic].We do not think that they will be able to fully bond with a new family, no matter how loving they were."