Parental opposition to adoption: the two-stage test

26 OCT 2007

Piers Pressdee and Simon Miller, Barristers at Harcourt Chambers (London and Oxford). Adoption can be devastating for the birth parent. More so still when, by the time it occurs, that birth parent has taken real steps to address the deficits in their parenting. The important and emotive issue of when it is appropriate for a parent to be permitted to oppose the making of an adoption order for their child, when subject of a placement order, has been awaiting guidance. It has caused confusion for practitioners, has generated debate among legal commentators and has doubtless proved particularly difficult for many a parent given notice of their child's intended adoption. That guidance has now come from a strong Court of Appeal (Thorpe LJ, Wall LJ and Hedley J), in the shape of its recent decision, Re P (A Child) [2007] EWCA Civ 616, [2007] FLR (forthcoming), and it is the ramifications of that case that form the basis for this article. Piers Pressdee appeared for the local authority at first instance and for the local authority and prospective adopters in Re P in the Court of Appeal. Simon Miller appeared for the children's guardian at first instance and pro bono in the Court of Appeal. For the full article see November [2007] Fam Law.

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