- Adoption—termination of placement (Prospective adopters v A local authority)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
Family analysis: This case is the only authority on section 35(1) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (ACA 2002) on the interpretation of notice being given by prospective adopters who wish to return the child. The court held in this case that proper notice had not been given, overturning the decision of the lower court. The notice provided must be clear and unequivocal and must be judged on its perception at the time it was given, particularly when the sender and recipient know each other’s position well. The court also had to consider whether notice under ACA 2002, s 35(2) can be given tacitly by the local authority. The court found it was difficult, if not impossible, for the local authority to give notice on a placement with a prospective adopter tacitly, given it is a transformative step subject to procedural safeguards and triggers a statutory obligation to inform the birth parents. Monifa Walters-Thompson, barrister at Garden Court Chambers, analyses the issues.
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