An adoption order made without the mother being physically present at the hearing has been pushed through. Although the High Court acknowledged that the making of the order amounted to a procedural irregularity and should never happen again, it went on to say the error did not constitute a “fundamental breach of natural justice.”
The reasoning used by the court — and which falls in line with the government’s very silly and irrational adoption policy (that it is for life, just because someone has said so in court and not because it is right for the child) — was that the mother knew the hearing was taking place, would not have been able to argue against the adoption order because she did not have the required permission to do so, and could not have prevented the adoption order from going through.
Lexis Nexis offers a very helpful summary of the case. We are reproducing an extract from that summary below for children, parents and families, but we highly recommend going to the source if you are a lawyer.
“In June 2019, following a finding that injuries sustained by the younger of three children had been inflicted by one of the parents, all three children were made the subject of final care and placement orders. In October and in January 2020, adoption applications were filed in respect of the youngest child and the two older children, respectively. In February, the parents’ applications for leave to oppose the adoptions were dismissed. In March, permission to appeal against that order was refused.
The mother was given notice of the hearing of the adoption application, which was to take place on 6 April. At 14.14 on 1 April, the adoption social worker sent a text message to the birth mother informing her that ‘due to the coronavirus outbreak [the] hearing [would] take place remotely by telephone’ and giving instructions for attendance by telephone. At 15.17 the same afternoon, however, the adoption social worker sent a further text message to the mother stating that she had ‘been informed by the court that HHJ Booth [was] excusing all parties from attending the hearing on Monday.’
On 6 April, HHJ Booth made the adoption order in respect of the three children in the absence of the mother.
In December, the Family Division dismissed the mother’s application to revoke the adoption order made by HHJ Booth.
The mother appealed against the judge’s dismissal of the application to revoke the adoption order. “
The threshold for a “fundamental breach of natural justice” in adoption cases is weighted far too much in favour of the order being made for the order’s sake. The madness of this can be seen no better than in the now infamous Webster v Norfolk County Council case, where the parents were absolved of hurting their children and whose children wanted to return to their care, but were refused reunification by the court because “adoption is forever.”
The idea behind this irrational tilt is that adoption in these cases is seen as the only way to give a child guaranteed stability and love, but in the real world that means nothing to a child who is unlikely to be entering a home that can cater to his or her needs after the trauma of separation and most likely a long stint in care with all the damage that does. Issues of identity and self esteem will follow, making adoption a minefield for delicate, developing brains.
While adoption only works for a very small number of children, the fundamental issue is that our child protection system still does not work well enough to make sure that other, more viable and sophisticated options are considered first, such as initiatives that actively keep families together and children safe in their care. These models exist, and yet the system hardly every uses them.
Until we get to a point where the government and the care system understands we need to minimise damage in meaningful ways, rather than put a rubber stamp on it and hope for the best, here is the case law underlining our woefully inadequate government stance on adoption and setting aside adoption orders:
MacFoy v UAC  UKPC 49, considered
B (adoption: jurisdiction to set aside), Re  3 All ER 333,  3 WLR 40 considered
Re K (Adoption and Wardship)  2 FLR 228, considered
Webster, Re; Webster v Norfolk County Council  EWCA Civ 59,  2 All ER 1156,  All ER (D) 106 (Feb) considered
Re Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case O)  EWHC 2273 (Fam),  4 WLR 148,  All ER (D) 45 (Sep) considered
Re J (A Minor) (Revocation of Adoption Order)  EWHC 2704 considered
Re J (Adoption: Appeal)  EWFC 8,  4 WLR 38 considered
Re A (children) (remote hearing: care and placement orders)  EWCA Civ 583,  All ER (D) 14 (May) considered
HX v A local authority and others  EWHC 1287 (Fam),  All ER (D) 16 (Jun) considered
AX v BX and others (Revocation of Adoption Order)  EWHC 1121, considered
keith brettwood said:
Talk about a Draconian long outdated system full of cobwebs.
So frustrating to think its still going on.
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Ian Josephs said:
Forced adoption should be made a crime;
In the absence of that branding parents as child abusers because a judge thought it was more likely than not that one of the parents had injured one of their children is both unfair and unsafe ………..
Before deciding that one of the parents was a child abuser the injuries should have been shown to be severe (broken bones or burns nor a bruise on the bottom !) and beyond reasonable doubt inflicted by a parent ;It seems that neither was the case with the child in question.
I sometimes wonder how some of our learned family court judges manage to sleep at night……………………
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I believe they will sleep soundly. To be disturbed in a case like this one has to first have a conscience attached to a least a modicum of humanity.
Neither of these two attributes appear to be present in the Family Court judiciary.
One has to ask why!
Is it that the judges are too removed from reality or that they are just full of their own importance and incapable of carrying out their duties as they should under their oath of office.
The system is run on a level of corruption that has a long lasting abuse effect on the children.
Whether the parents are poor, uneducated or lacking in some form of social skills, does not mean, that with a little help, they cannot be good parents to their children.
The use of Forced Adoption is used as an easy avenue for the SS to ignore their responsibility towards the child.
Back when all this worked under Criminal law, when a child was injured by one of the parents, the other parent would not have been branded the same way as you describe and would have still been allowed their child home.
Once it reaches the newspapers, the outcome to the criminal law Case, when it’s headlines that include the word accident, in play, playing games, not deliberate, SS will still run with using it was NAI against the parent who had not caused the injury and even in family law cases by the time the parent who was not responsible for the injury gets pursued, SS ask said parent how they ‘think’ the injury happened who was in another room at the time. The one parent could be upstairs, the other parent downstairs.
In instances of spiral fractures, a SW might ask the other parent questions which involve them trying to play judge and jury when they clearly are not, neither are they medically qualified to decide if an injury was deliberate or not especially when matters had already escalated to criminal court. Also, even cases that do transpire through such injuries as you mention, even a family law judge can come to the conclusion it was not a severe case of abuse. That’s not to say I condone said injuries at the same time. It’s obviously concerning either way.
What I am saying is, when a (other) parent replies to the SW things like- well I only noticed the fan on its side as I’d tidied the room that day then the SW will run with that asking the other parent so how do you ‘think’ it happened/could have happened.
The other parent can only then ‘guess’ which they might reply well he/she ‘could have’ used that to cause the injury. Then the SW might say oh yes, that’s how i/we think it could have happened aswell and the other parent could be asked in front of other professionals in a child protection meeting. It does not mean any of said professionals present are medically qualified.
But then if you do a search on spiral fractures, just with the basics you’ll see they happen through a twisting action so it could not have happened with a fan for example.
I’ve been in the position being the other parent. I had no access to a computer at the time. I did not even know how to use one. I also could not afford one or maybe I would have realised these things for myself at the time. The other parent did not go to prison but was put on probation and had mh difficulties, I still lost one of my four children to forced ‘alleged’ adoption.
Another example, your child could be being cared for elsewhere by the time you have SS involved and your child could have had an injury to their head resembling a soft spot for instance but say on the back of their head.
The parent visits regular so the SW has you in a separate meeting to them. The parent gets asked again, how do you ‘think’ it could have happened. The parent might say, well I don’t know I wasn’t there. But I did notice there was not a banister up or railings going down the side of the stairs but it’s something they’ve got onto doing since and so suspicion could be raised there or the one with care of the child could respond well yes, I took little Joey to the doctors who said it’s just one of those things.
Next thing, the parent is brought into a meeting, the SW/Manager/ess could be sat there with a piece of paper telling the parent, well the one caring for your child is telling you a different story to what we’ve heard back from their doctor. Then that parent gets thrown by hearing medical terminology used to the point they don’t think to request a copy of it or to even see it. It could all just be being made up and fabricated. The next thing, the parent could decide they want their child in Foster care believing they’ll be better off. But the system has got them then, the child more often than not who could highly likely be looking at being separated from the rest of their family with severance and permanency with broken family ties.
And the parent may well be sat listening when all of a sudden they could be hearing the words well mum/dad thinks little Joey fell over the side of the stairs, because she noticed a new banister/railings go up. The parent may respond by then don’t put words into my mouth twisting things.
A young couple married or not could have a childminder for their toddler who cannot speak at the time. They both arrive by car to collect their child and dad brings toddler out with a big blister on their hand.
So upset could the mother be she decides to leave her job, both parents could have been working full time to make ends meet.
So mum takes their little Tilly to the hospital who says make sure the bandage does not come off and the hospital could already be annoyed treating the young couple differently because they’re young, but also because the story the childminder gave re nature of the injury is inconsistent with how said type of injury happened. The parent will and can only say and pass on what they’re told.
I definitely think it would useful to hear more stories of accidental injury as opposed to NAI all the time, since we don’t get to hear of accidental injury stories as much as we do NAI, except when it’s already been decided in criminal court it was accidental or not deliberate. But even then, SS will FALSELY claim the injury was NAI once already decided with FACTS that no it was not, within the Criminal Court. Unbelievably, they appear to be allowed to do that.
Then what can and does likely follow is a whole catalogue of serious procedural errors where the other parent is set up and said factual evidence gets ignored and covered up. Any loving, caring parent is still going to be upset their child was injured when said injury was not caused deliberately. It affects them too living with it for the rest of their life, but it does not justify them being falsely diagnosed with 5 professionals none medically qualified stating and worse still diagnosing the other parent with EUPD (one of SS favourites) when NO ASSESSMENT was even done. Or the Threshold being met/crossed by falsehoods such as these.
Some of these parents or other parents can go on to develop intrusive thoughts at the time, like UNWANTED fears of harm. Where is the early intervention then when left all over the holidays, because SS preferred to not bother checking in the family was ok who got to take their injured child home with three other children to care for. It is known early intervention is important.
But the help and support with services the parent or other parent knows they need, does not come. Not until sometimes years later anyway, from my first hand experience. In the meantime that parent or other parent is left struggling with their own thoughts, maybe being judged because the only other person really there for them was the parent who accidently caused the injury, phoning them up asking are you alright bab.
Encouraged to get rid of/stay way from them means early intervention is very much needed instead when the other parent got misled by SS the injury was deliberate and NAI and I mean SS going out to the family to support them and getting them the medical help by medical professionals the other parents knows they need at that time.
But as much as parents like me are living with what happened, we worry how the alleged in my case child will be growing up, learning that this happened. Because we are not selfish parent’s when we do care about them and do love them.
Yet in the care system, when injuries occur and a Judge would deem some of them worst cases of child abuse re some parents, unlike what happened re my Case described as not the worst case etc. Parents are not always told or not told straight away even if their Foster Carer was sacked because they injured the parents child including ones with physical/emotional/learning difficulties disabilities.
We’re not always getting to find out the outcome when say one of our children has repeatedly got beat up with metal poles (weight lifting ones) and hamster food from the child’s pet hamster, rammed down their throats by some of the staff who would turn up to do their shifts drunk, as much as the Judge may have stated they want a serious investigation done. Or as much as the parent gets to find out some were sacked off their child years later, still in touch with one or two of the I presume retired staff members.
Thank you for your comment Ian. We’re also falsely portrayed as all been druggies and alcoholics who deserved to lose our child, when we was not and as much as there are parents who can feel driven to drink for example afterwards, through being so set up and misled, on top of facing losing their child.
From the mum who was deemed fit enough to continue care for her three children, but not the fourth, the baby of the family. What do they call us, the unfit fit parents. Makes you think doesn’t it.
But yes, after all that, it turned out said injury was not deliberate re the spiral fracture. Having caused me a major breakdown at the time, I’d handed in the newspaper cutting stating Judge Martin Coates as quoting if the injury would have been deliberate he would have jailed (dad’s name) Said newspaper cutting I do not recall being submitted into family court or the xrays. Yet SS was aware and knew which papers it was in because they asked me in a meeting about it. It was my Solicitor I handed it into. It would be years later, before I got it back in my hands the physical copy learning my babbi’s dad had not caused it deliberate.
Described as a soft, gentleman by one’s and friends who knew him, including the one medical professional who has since spoken to our son with fondness about his dad to him since he grew older and came home to my partner and I to live until he became poorly, said dad had I was told automatically lost his PR by SS. The day the injury occurred, was the last time our son ever got to see him. By our son’s teens, he had passed away, he died.
It’s been painful to see and first hand witness the damage caused because said son, who kept telling me he wanted to meet his dad, that he forgive him, he wanted his dad to help him pick tattoos for him. Said dad spent most of his adult life having schizophrenia.
It is the families gone through/going through forced adoption who are living the life sentences. It is SS who are causing the children involved at times emotional harm.
Thank you if you have managed to read all this part of my story, which was difficult for me to write 💔🦋 Xx
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Just need to correct where I wrote ‘alleged’ parent. I am said parent naturally. Perhaps I was really mum all along legally or by law, with the evidence I have there was no adoption officially registered on the adoption register. I’m of the strong belief I was sent false made up paperwork re said certificates involved in adoption cases. I call this fraud and perverting the course of justice re being so misled and deceived, only I got to find out factually. Unless proved otherwise, I am indeed said now young man’s mum full stop, feeling like my child was kidnapped and should have been home with me therefore with his brothers and sister. Why wouldn’t the adoption order have been amended if it raised there was a problem with the name 3 weeks after the alleged AP received the certs/paperwork.
What I had meant to bring out, was that it was a forced ‘alleged’ adoption. Said child’s name changed/amended at 17 years old, because he could not get a passport with the certs he had having kept my surname all along factually. I was told by his alleged adopter since that he’d applied himself then re the name change/amendment through deed poll. I’m not sure how this came about since he had Autism all along unknown at that time, yet suspected, but what I do believe is the corruption runs deep.
I’d also forgot to mention how it was said dad’s story that was honest. He had given the honest account or version how said injury happened.
I’d actually meant to respond to Ian Joseph’s comment where he mentioned injuries Xxxx
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[Name Withheld] said:
This is exactly what happened to my 3 grandchildren, taken with no remorse,our family from uncles to cousins etc..all wanted to support and care for the children but the ss said they need a solicitor first which is costly ofcause,why the hell they didn’t offer assessments is beyond me,the family have good backgrounds,gp, teachers,all great jobs and well brought up but NO the ss made this so difficult.
It was obvious they did not want my grandchildren to be within our family ,they DO NOT like keeping the kids in the family,that’s just lies yet again amongst all the other bs.
They do not care about the children they take,the kids all growup with problems and it’s FACT that the majority of our kids are affected through forced adoption.
But they brush all this under the carpet,also the judges,what’s the meaning of “best interests of the children “taking them from good families and giving them to strangers??
Its a disgrace.
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Yes, my son is just one of them grown up just the way you have described and I’ve heard other parents saying the same 😪🦋 Xx
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The same as what happened to me. Misled into believing it was game over, once adoption decisions got made in the days they used Freeing Orders in England, since called Placement Orders. So I did not attend the ‘alleged’ so called adoption hearing.
Next thing, years down the line, I got the evidence to substantiate no adoption had taken place.
I had not signed section 20.I went on to get evidence of mistakes made re adoption orders/certs which this site has seen.
This mother could go on to find out there was not really ever an adoption.
Mum needs to apply for her child’s newer full length A4 birth certificate to learn more and see if it states ‘adopted’ on it.
Although, even if it does (both this cert and the adoption cert gets done simultaneously) It’s still not evidence enough without the adoption certificate, which most parents cannot get a copy of unless they know the alleged /potential adopters name/address or previous address.
Even Family Court deceived and tricked me into me believing they had sent me the adoption order. There was actually a handwritten complimentary note with it to confirm their lies/fabrications.
So it is STILL happening I see 😢👀🦋 Xxxx
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Reblogged this on tummum's Blog and commented:
It’s a disgrace it is still going on 👀👀
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Paul Brian Tovey said:
I just see a system over-wedded to bizarre draconian notions that identity changes and shocks of separations are fine so long as it’s “Adoption” ….But then social alienation and having an altered partly abandoned self seems fine with many of the classes that design this awful solution ……The mind altering scenario is favoured .. Adoption-washing is the way to clean the dirty-care laundry ..Sadly it’s terribly costly to many adoptees ..
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[Name Withheld] said:
That is what happened to me and my wife adoption orders made without us present in December 2004 but we still dont know if they were we have just been told they have
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In 2004, a lot of parents were being misled, not told about the process properly, been told it would be a waste of time appealing.
Did you sign section 20. There was and still is a lot of bullying goes on by SW’s where the parents refuse to sign it.
Many thought it was already game over so to speak, and adoptions were not so sped up as they are nowadays, once adoption decisions were made in the days we had Freeing Orders and not Placement Orders which have replaced them now, so as I understood it, a lot of said parents did not turn up to the ‘alleged’ adoption hearing. For all the parents knew, it could have meant that really their children were in long term Foster care and SS did not tell them.
What if the parents who refused to sign section 20, meant it made it difficult for the adoption’s to go ahead, maybe through a lack of evidence or through serious procedural errors.
Did you discover 2 or more ways of name spellings or discrepancies with events as to the time or year they took place. Anything like this, could have meant there were double case files held instead of the one. So one which went into family court, the other which never. This was in the Tony Blair days of the adoption bonus babies, where each Council would receive a bonus at that time for each child adopted.
You can write to the court responsible, email would be good so you get to keep a copy, and ask to be sent a copy of the judgement if not got it, the Freeing Order/last care order, the adoption order, to see if you can find out that way. Although this won’t always be reliable enough on it’s own as you can still be misled.
So you need to make a SARS Request to your Council for all records held which pertains to you/your name back from the time this all happened.
Did you make any complaints. Then you also need to request your information held on consumer relations department of the Council, to see what you can find out from there.
All natural parents can request a copy of the long newer birth certificate from deaths, births registrations for their child, which would state adopted on it if its gone through, but don’t always take it that it has.
Did you know the Foster carer’s name and address at the time. If you did, whether you knew the old address or the newer address, you can apply for a copy of the adoption order too.
If any of the above certificates can be sent you without a hitch, where your not/not first refunded your money (around £20 each) then fair enough. But if there is a hitch, because you get told there’s no trace of an adoption on the adoption register and perhaps you still get sent either certificate anyway. Then be very suspicious.
When your questions can’t be answered satisfactorily, you could be advised to take things back to Family Court. Just if you do the latter, you could also get restricted or gagged for uncovering foul play this far Xx
[Name Withheld] said:
We did all that [edited] birth certificate came back adopted on it [edited] came back normal in 2016 we went to the high court as [edited] wanted to come home we had loads of messages from her saying all of this but got no where instead we got slapped with non molestation orders on us we was granted monthly letterbox contact before that court hearing as they stopped writing to us but when we was slapped with that order everything was stopped there is no justice it was proven in 2004 they had no grounds to take [edited] off us
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I am so sorry. Thresholds are not always proved, you are so right. Lowered even, but not until it’s always in Family Court already, then they’re not amended to reflect an accurate record. I remember the same happening too 😘🦋 Xx