In re B (a Minor) (Adoption: Natural parent): HL 17 Dec 2001

The parents of a child were not married. The mother stated and had maintained her disinterest in the child from birth, and the father had been caring for the child. The local authority looked to find a fostering place with a view to adoption. The father sought to adopt the child by himself, since this was the only way of making sure that his relationship with the child would not later be disturbed if the mother changed her mind. The Act required an adoption order in favour of one natural parent to the exclusion of the other only to be made for some proper reason.
Held: The Court of Appeal should only interfere with a first instance judgment as to the facts where such a judgement was plainly wrong. There was no indication of the judge having misdirected herself. Since the Act required the court to balance the competing interests, it already took account of the Article 8 rights of the mother and child. The order in favour of the father should stand.


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Millett and Lord Rodger of Earlsferry


Times 18-Dec-2001, [2001] UKHL 70


House of Lords, Bailii


Adoption Act 1976 15


England and Wales


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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Adoption, Human Rights

Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.167065