Q&As

Can an adoption order made in favour of a married couple be revoked regarding one adoptive parent only?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 03/08/2016

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can an adoption order made in favour of a married couple be revoked regarding one adoptive parent only?

Can an adoption order made in favour of a married couple be revoked regarding one adoptive parent only?

An adoption order is an order which has the effect of severing all legal ties with the child’s biological family and creates a new legal relationship with the adoptive family. Such an order is one of the most powerful and potentially draconian orders that the courts can make, and therefore significant checks and safeguards are put in place before such an order is made. See Practice Note: Adoption orders.

It is possible for an order to be made revoking an adoption order, under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court, however the few cases that have considered such applications have made it clear that an order revoking an adoption will only be made in exceptional circumstances (see, for example Bodey J in Re W (a child) (revocation of adoption: inherent jurisdiction)). However in a recent case (PK v Mr and Mrs K) Pauffley J did allow a revocation of an adoption order. The facts of that case were ‘highly exceptional’ and involved the child being sent by its adoptive family to live in Ghana, where abuse was suffered. The child returned to the UK and was reunited with the birth family. The adopters did not object

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