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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

19 APR 2011

ADOPTION: Re A (Father: Knowledge of Child's Birth) [2011] EWCA Civ 273

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe, Longmore and Black LJJ; 17 March 2011)

A 41 year old married mother (with grandchildren) put a her newborn baby up for adoption. The mother sought a declaration authorising the local authority not to inform the father, who was her husband, of the existence of the child. The family was from Afghanistan and had been granted asylum because of persecution by the Taliban. The father was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was clearly unpredictable and violent.

The mother's appeal was dismissed. The authorities did not require a significant physical risk, but exceptional circumstances were required before the court would sanction the withholding of information about the existence of a child from a parent.

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