Re CA (A Baby): FD 30 Jul 2012

Orse Coventry City Council v C, B, CA and CH
This concerned the removal of a baby from her mother on the day of her birth, but the mother, having at first refused to do so, had given her consent to the baby being accommodated. The local authority accepted that they should not have sought her consent so soon after the birth, when she had not only undergone surgery but also been given morphine. They therefore conceded that they had acted in breach of her article 8 rights, in that removing the baby was not only unlawful but also not a proportionate response to the risks as they were at that time. In the course of a judgment which approved the settlement of that claim, Hedley J gave detailed guidance about the use of section 20 agreements, guidance which had been seen and presumably approved by Sir James Munby P.
Hedley J emphasised three points: (i) that the use of section 20 ‘must not be compulsion in disguise’; (ii) that ‘In order for such an agreement to be lawful, the parent must have the requisite capacity to make that agreement’; and (iii) ‘even where there is capacity, it is essential that any consent so obtained is properly informed and, at least where it results in detriment to the giver’s personal interest, is fairly obtained’
Hedley J
[2012] EWHC 2190 (Fam), [2013] 1 FCR 54, [2012] Fam Law 1316, [2013] 2 FLR 987
Children Act 1989 20
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedWilliams and Another v London Borough of Hackney SC 18-Jul-2018
On arrest for shoplifting a 12 year old said he had been doing so to get food, and that he had been hit with a belt by his father. Investigation revealed the home to be dangerous, and all eight children were removed to the care of the LA. The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 August 2021; Ref: scu.463343