April 11, 2016

Supreme Court to give ruling on adoption case disputed by foreign parents

The “Matter of N” concerns care and placement orders sought by the London Borough of Hounslow for the children, who currently live with foster carers.

The local authority’s final care plan was for the children to be adopted in England, without the consent of the parents, who oppose the plan.

The mother applied for the transfer of the care proceedings to Hungary under Article 15 Brussels II Revised, an EU regulation governing family disputes involving more than one member state.

Her application was supported by the father and the Hungarian Central Authority, which indicated that social care professionals would collect the children from England and place them in a new foster home in Hungary.

The judge made an order for the transfer of the proceedings to Hungary. The Court of Appeal held that the English court does have jurisdiction to make an adoption order in relation to a child who is a foreign national without the consent of his parent, but that care proceedings were within the scope of Brussels II and the judge had been justified in making the order for transfer.

The children’s guardian appealed to the Supreme Court, which heard the case in March. The ruling is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13.

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