Family and Children Law
In the case of Re Q (a child: adoption), The Court of Appeal upheld a ruling to make an adoption order and refuse a father’s residence order.
The mother and father began a relationship while the father was already married to another woman living abroad. The mother was unaware that the father was married at the time of their relationship.
The mother became pregnant, and in the meantime the father bought his wife to the UK to live with him and they had a child.
The mother, a Muslim, came from a strict religious community who would not have approved of her relationship. She therefore went to great lengths to conceal the pregnancy from her father who she feared would kill her and the baby in an ‘honour killing’. When the child was born the mother placed the infant for adoption. The child was placed with a couple where she remained. When the father of the child discovered this he made an application for a residence order. The application was not allowed and an adoption order was made in favour of the placement couple.
The father appealed claiming the correct legal test had not been applied under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The appeal was dismissed. There had been no error in law by the judge. The welfare of the child was paramount and placing the child for adoption was in her best interests. The potential for the mother and child to come to physical harm was a real risk. There was also a high likelihood that the father and his wife would have felt differently about this child from their own. They had been unrealistic about integrating the child into their family and there was a significant risk that the child would not make an adequate transfer of attachment from the couple it had been placed with.