Q&As

Can an adult apply to revoke an adoption order that was made during their minority?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 04/06/2018

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

  • Can an adult apply to revoke an adoption order that was made during their minority?

The adoption of a child severs all the child’s legal ties with their birth family and establishes a new legal relationship with the child’s adoptive family. The law does allow for applications to revoke an adoption order, but examples of such applications being successful are few and far between. An order to revoke an adoption order can only be made by the High Court by invoking its inherent jurisdiction.

In Re B (Adoption: Jurisdiction to set aside), a 35 year old man (B) discovered that his birth father was of Muslim origin, although B had been adopted by a Jewish family and brought up as Jewish. The natural mother, who was English, had consented to the adoption, but indicated that she would have had serious misgivings had she been aware that the adoptive family was Jewish. B experienced difficulties when trying to settle and work in Israel. B applied to the High Court for the adoption order to be set aside on the ground that there had been a fundamental mistake. At first instance the judge concluded that there was no such power, and on appeal the Court of Appeal confirmed that the parties’ misapprehensio

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