Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust and Another v H and Another: HL 12 Jul 2006

The House considered when adoption law would allow an adoption without the consent of the birth parent where there had been some continuing contact between that parent and the child.
Held: (Baroness Hale dissenting) The appeal against the adoption was dismissed. The judge’s opinion had been expressed strongly but he had expressed the law accurately, and applied it. His decision was within the range of proper decisions.
Baroness Hale pointed out that the United Kingdom is unusual in Europe in permitting the total severance of family ties without parental consent.

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell
[2006] UKHL 36
Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 18(1)
Northern Ireland
CitedIn re W (An Infant) HL 1971
The court considered the reasonability of parental disagreement in applications for adoption: ‘Two reasonable parents can perfectly reasonably come to opposite conclusions on the same set of facts without forfeiting their title to be regarded as . .
CitedRe C (A Minor) (Adoption Order: Conditions) HL 1988
The House considered the question of conditions to be applied to any continued contact with a child after adoption. Lord Ackner said: ‘The cases rightly stress that in normal circumstances it is desirable that there should be a complete break, but . .
CitedYousef v The Netherlands ECHR 5-Nov-2002
In ‘judicial decisions where the rights under article 8 of parents and of a child are at stake, the child’s rights must be the paramount consideration.’ . .
CitedG v G (Minors: Custody Appeal) HL 25-Apr-1985
The House asked when a decision, on the facts, of a first instance court is so wrong as to allow it to be overturned on appeal.
Held: The epithet ‘wrong’ is to be applied to the substance of the decision made by the lower court. ‘Certainly it . .
CitedRe G (Children) CA 20-May-2002
. .
CitedRe C (a Minor) (Adoption: Parental Agreement: Contact) CA 1993
Where adoption is to be considered against the will of the parent, the court should recognise when asking whether the opposition was unreasonable that the test is objective and supposes that this person is endowed with a mind and temperament capable . .
CitedIn re E (A Minor) (Care Order: Contract) CA 1994
The court considered the benefits to a child of continuing parental contact while the child remained in care.
Simon Brown LJ said: ‘I recognise of course that the threshold criteria for a care order under section 31 of the 1989 Act require the . .
CitedP, C and S v United Kingdom ECHR 2002
The local authority had obtained the issue of an Emergency Protection Order under the 1989 Act to remove a child at birth.
Held: Where the possibility of harm arose from the mother introducing something into the child’s system (such as a . .
CitedK And T v Finland ECHR 27-Apr-2000
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 8; No violation of Art. 13; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention proceedings; Costs and expenses . .
CitedIn re L (An Infant) CA 1962
That a proposed adoption of a child would be in the child’s best interests is not necessarily an indication that the parent’s opposition to the adoption is unreasonable: ‘A reasonable mother surely gives great weight to what is better for the child. . .
CitedIn re D (An Infant) (Adoption: Parent’s Consent) HL 1977
The father opposed adoption of a child by the mother and her new husband. The House was asked whether his opposition was unreasonable.
Held: Lord Wilberforce said: ‘What, in my understanding, is required is for the court to ask whether the . .
CitedIn re E (Minors) (Adoption: Parental Agreement) 1990
Aa application for a freeing order was premature. . .
CitedIn re KLA (An Infant) 2000
Sir John MacDermott considered the purpose of freeing orders. The purpose was: ‘to find out if a child would be available for adoption before prospective adopters were found and their hopes frustrated if the adoption court ruled that consent was not . .
CitedIn re C (Minors) (Adoption) 1992
. .
CitedIn Re P (Minors) (Adoption: Freeing Orders) FD 25-Jul-1994
A judge should not order continued contact after the making of freeing orders which were made without the consent of the mother. . .
CitedIn Re A (A Minor) (Adoption: Contact Order) CA 24-Jun-1993
A contact order had been properly granted with an order freeing the child for adoption. Butler-Sloss LJ: ‘The effect of an order freeing a child for adoption is to extinguish parental responsibility of those previously endowed with it and thus to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.243080