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(Family Division, Theis J, 27 March 2013)
The mother's partner applied to adopt the 15-year-old child pursuant to s 51(2) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. The applicant was born in England but spent long periods in the Middle and Far East for work purposes although he retained property in England.
In accordance with s 51 of the ACA 2002 the applicant had retained his English domicile given his continuing ties to this country and his decision to retire here. In the circumstances the preliminary requirements of s 47 of the Act had been complied with.
However, the requirement that the child had her home with the applicant for at least 6 months prior to the making of the order under s 42(3) had not been established. The child had attended boarding school which was to be disregarded but aside from that she had only spent about a week with the applicant in the preceding 6 months. The fact that the applicant had taken on financial and moral responsibility of the child and was in contact with her by phone, email and text did not equate to having a home with him.
Despite the powerful welfare considerations in favour of making an adoption order they did not change the hard facts of the case even allowing for a most purposeful construction.
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure