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'The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) welcomes the judgment today by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales in Re R (A Child), that where adoption is in the child’s best interests, local authorities and courts must not shy away from making care orders with a plan for adoption.This judgment has been awaited as providing much needed clarification on the law around placement orders following Re B and Re B-S and it certainly seems that the President has taken the opportunity to address the areas of confusion. Of course only time will tell whether this judgment is successful in its desired effect.
There has been a great deal of uncertainty around adoption of children from care for several months which has directly impacted on some of the most vulnerable children in society with adoption plans falling by almost 50%. This judgement will help both courts and local authorities when making decisions regarding the long term future of these children.
President Munby addresses concerns that children are being placed inappropriately with family members to avoid adoption. He emphasises that ‘”nothing else will do” does not mean that “everything else must be considered”’ and that it is acceptable, if properly done, for family members to be ruled out as realistic potential carers at an early stage of a case.
A child should never be placed for adoption where there is a member of their family who can provide appropriate care for them, but there are some children for whom adoption is in their best interests. We support the President's efforts to improve the standards of evidence and analysis in all cases involving decisions about a child's future, and welcome the clarification that adoption should be properly considered as an option for those children.'
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