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(Family Division, Peter Jackson J, 3 June 2013)
The mother, a young adult, who had a long and difficult history including the removal of her first child from her care, appealed an adoption order in relation to her 2-year-old child and in respect of the decision not to order direct contact.
Following the birth of the child they attended a mother and baby foster placement which broke down after only a month but the child had remained with the foster carer ever since.
The mother claimed that the judge had weighed the evidence incorrectly in deciding that an adoption order should be made.
The orders that were made were grave orders and added to the making of an adoption order the absence of an order for contact was a conclusion of real significance. However, the district judge was aware of those considerations, and having considered the matter once again, there was no basis for saying that his evaluation that the difficulties that the mother continued to face were too great to allow her to reliably meet the needs of the child, was wrong.
The test for granting permission to appeal, which appeared at Rule 30.3(7) of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 was that an applicant must show ‘a real prospect of success'. No further elaboration of those words was necessary or helpful. To allow permission to appeal in any case where the application is not capricious, whimsical or absurd was to set the threshold too low. It did not give effect to the rule that simply required a real prospect of success to be shown.
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