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Family Law

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27 JUL 2005

DISCLOSURE: Brent London Borough Council v N (Foster Carers) and P (By Her Guardian) [2005] EWHC 1676 (Fam)

(Family Division; Sumner J; 27 July 2005) [2006] 1 FLR 310

The child aged 2 had been taken into care and placed with foster parents. She had not seen her mother for several months and the local authority proposed that she live with her natural father, his partner and their child. During the course of assessment, the foster father was found to be HIV positive. Nonetheless, medical evidence showed that the risk of the infection being passed to the child was negligible. The foster father objected to the information being passed to the natural father and his partner. The local authority sought permission to disclose the foster father's medical status. The High Court held there was no duty of disclosure. Disclosure of confidential details relating to the foster father's health impinged on his right to respect for his private life and would be a breach of the duty owed to him. There was no need for such disclosure as the rights of natural parents to know of risks to which their child was exposed while in care did not arise where the risk was negligible and the disclosure was opposed. See November [2005] Fam Law 855 for the case report and comment.

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