Whether Scottish process is convention compliant.

Author:Harris, Alexandra Conroy
Position:England and Wales
 
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Re Z (Adoption: Scottish child placed in England: Convention compliance) [2012]

High Court (Family Division) Mostyn J

30 August 2012 EWHC 2404

Z was a six-year-old child who had been placed with carers in England following proceedings in Scotland. The prospective adopters issued an application for adoption in England, including an application for the parents' consent to be dispensed with. The parents opposed the making of the order, claiming that the Scottish process had breached their Articles 6 and 8 rights.

The parents each had several other children, none of whom were in their care, and Z was removed from her mother's care at the age of four months. The mother (M) was represented by solicitors during the proceedings, in which findings were made that she had failed to provide adequate health and physical care to Z, causing her distress and suffering and placing her at risk of harm. M did not attend the hearing, nor did she attend the Children's Hearing which decided that she should have no contact with Z. The father (F) put him self forward as a carer for Z, but was ruled out by the local authority after several contact sessions which proved distressing for the child.

In 2009 the local authority decided that Z should be placed for adoption and in 2011 the Children's Hearing authorised the placement of Z with A in England. M appealed to the Sheriff, an appeal which was granted on the basis that inadequate reasons for the decision had been given, and the Hearing directed that a Safeguarder's report be prepared to report on Z's wishes and feelings and the parents' current circumstances. As a result of the report, the Hearing again approved the adoption plan. M appealed again and this appeal was dismissed. M then applied for judicial review of the local authority's decisions and requested further assessment and reconsideration of the adoption plan. This application was dismissed. A's application to adopt Z...

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