X and Y v United Kingdom: ECHR 1978

(Commission) A boy of 14, X’s nephew, was adopted under Indian law by two Sikhs, who were UK citizens. He was 14 years when adopted. He had been denied entry clearance into the UK on the grounds that, even if the adoption was valid according to Indian law, there had been no genuine transfer of parental responsibility to X, since Y’s natural parents were able to care for him. The Commission rejected the applicants’ complaint under article 8 because: ‘This adoption is neither recognised nor eligible for recognition in English law. The first applicant has apparently since made financial contributions towards the upkeep of the second applicant. However, throughout his life, both before and after the adoption, he has lived with his natural parents in India. It appears that they have been and are fully capable of supporting him. In these circumstances the applicants have not, in the Commission’s opinion, established a relationship between them which amounted at any material time to ‘family life’ within the meaning of Article 8, notwithstanding their blood relationship and any legal relationship created under Indian law by the adoption. The Commission does not consider that the second applicant’s relationship with the first applicant is at all comparable to that of a new-born child with its parents, where ‘family life’ might be held to exist from the moment of birth.’

(1978) 12 DR 32, [1977] ECHR 3
European Convention on Human Rights 8
Human Rights
Cited by:
CitedSingh v Entry Clearance Officer New Delhi CA 30-Jul-2004
The applicant, an 8 year old boy, became part of his Indian family who lived in England, through an adoption recognised in Indian Law, but not in English Law. Though the adoption was genuine, his family ties had not been broken in India. The family . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Adoption

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.200258