Single father at last able to adopt son

A single father has been allowed to adopt his
own child, after two and a half years of court proceedings.

Last month the House of Lords overturned a
decision of the Court of Appeal refusing an adoption order,
although it had been made with the full consent of the mother, who
wanted nothing to do with the child’s future.

Child A was born in October 1998, following a
nine-month relationship that had ended in April that year, with the
father unaware of the pregnancy or subsequent birth.

After the child had been placed with foster
parents with a view to adoption, the local council by chance
discovered the father’s whereabouts. He expressed his desire to
look after the child, a parental responsibility agreement with the
mother was made and in December 1998 the child was placed with

In April 1999 he applied for an adoption

The official solicitor, acting as A’s
guardian, opposed the application in the high court on the basis
that the order would be to end the mother’s relationship with A,
although she had consented to the father’s adoption application.
But the judge granted the order.

However, the Court of Appeal replaced the
adoption order with a residence order. Lady Justice Hale said: “It
would be a disproportionate response to her current needs to turn
her from the child of two legal parents, with two legal families,
into the child of only one parent, with only one legal family.” But
the House of Lords last month overturned the ruling.

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