Re D (A Child): CA 26 Mar 2014

F appealed against the removal of his parental responsibility for his son. M and F were not married, but F had been named on the birth certificate. He had later been convicted of sexual assaults against two daughters of M by an earlier relationship.
Held: ‘where a judge applies the concept of the paramountcy of welfare to an application under section 4(2A) CA 1989, he will have identified the correct principle to apply. If he analyses welfare by reference to the welfare checklist, he will have provided himself with an appropriate analytical framework against which to give his reasons and on the facts he may permissibly look at other potentially relevant factors such as parenthood, commitment, attachment and motive provided he does not raise any one or more of the factors to the status of a competing presumption or test by which he decides the application.’
In this case ‘Baker J articulated the correct test . . and considered the key issues on the facts of this application . . he utilised the welfare checklist as an analytical tool . . and reminded himself of the interference with article 8 rights that needed to be justified. He concluded that despite the need of every child to have an understanding of his biological origins and whenever possible a relationship with each parent, D’s welfare would be ‘imperilled’ were his father to have any involvement in his life. That conclusion is unassailable both on the facts and as a value judgment within a careful welfare analysis. ‘

Arden, Gloster, Ryder LJJ
[2014] EWCA Civ 315
Children Act 1989 4, Adoption and Children Act 2002 111
England and Wales
CitedGillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority and Department of Health and Social Security HL 17-Oct-1985
Lawfulness of Contraceptive advice for Girls
The claimant had young daughters. She challenged advice given to doctors by the second respondent allowing them to give contraceptive advice to girls under 16, and the right of the first defendant to act upon that advice. She objected that the . .
CitedRice v Miller 10-Sep-1993
(Family Court of Australia) Whilst there is a legislative presumption regarding equal shared parental responsibility between parents there is no presumption in favour of parents (jointly or severally) as regards the placement of children nor a . .
CitedIn Re G (A Minor) (Interim Care Order: Residential Assessment); G (Children), In Re (Residence: Same Sex Partner) HL 26-Jul-2006
The parties had been a lesbian couple each with children. Each now was in a new relationship. One registered the two daughters of the other at a school now local to her but without first consulting the birth mother, who then applied for residence . .
CitedRe M (A Child) sub nom PM v MB and M (a child) CA 31-Jul-2013
‘Since 1 December 2013 and by section 4(1) CA 1989 as inserted by section 111 Adoption and Children Act 2002, an unmarried father acquires parental responsibility by the inclusion of his name on the child’s birth certificate. That legislative change . .
CitedD v Hereford and Worcester County Council FD 1991
The court considered an application for an order for parental rights under the 1967 Act.
Held: Ward J said: ‘Can this (father) show that he is the father of the child, not in the biological sense but in the sense that he has established or is . .
CitedSmallwood v United Kingdom ECHR 21-Oct-1998
(Commission – Admissibility) The difference in treatment between mothers, married and unmarried fathers in the context of the jurisdiction of the court to make an order which removes an unmarried father’s parental responsibility is not a violation . .
CitedIn re S (Minors) (Care Order: Implementation of Care Plan) HL 14-Mar-2002
Section 3(1) of the 1998 Act is not available where the suggested interpretation is contrary to express statutory words or is by implication necessarily contradicted by the statute. The judge’s task is to interpret, not to legislate. The proposed . .
CitedIn re S-B (Children) (Care proceedings: Standard of proof) SC 14-Dec-2009
A child was found to have bruising consistent with physical abuse. Either or both parents might have caused it, but the judge felt it likely that only one had, that he was unable to decide which, and that they were not so serious that he had to say . .
CitedIn re W (Children) (Direct Contact) CA 24-Jul-2012
The court took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of parental responsibility as an incident of family life. McFarlane LJ said: ‘Whether or not a parent has parental responsibility is not simply a matter that achieves the ticking of a box on . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Human Rights

Updated: 02 December 2021; Ref: scu.523274