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Adopted Girl Wins Landmark Case

An adopted 14-year-old girl has won a landmark case to return to her biological family in what is being dubbed a “highly exceptional” ruling.

As a result of the ruling the adoptive order that was set up ten years ago has since been revoked and the teenager has also been able to change her surname to that of her birth mother.

Landmark Case

The case and the outcome, which has now been made public, stated that the girl was put up for adoption at the age of four and sent to live with an appropriate family. Mrs Justice Pauffley however stated looking back that no professional involved with the girl or the case at that time could have foreseen the events which saw her “cast out” of the home of the couple who adopted her and sent to live with extended family in Ghana.While in Ghana she was “abused by the adults with whom she had been sent to live”.

The girl, who cannot be identified, applied for order to grant her mother interim and then full care and control. She returned to England last year after what the court deemed was a difficult and “troubled” childhood with the judge also stated that there were signs that the couple who had adopted the child had “relinquished responsibility for her” in 2004. The couple did not respond to any of the applications to change her name or challenge the revoking of the adoption.

Mr Justice Pauffley said: “Her experience of adoption, particularly the arrangements made for her after the age of six, would seem to have been extremely abusive. She is desperate to draw a line under that part of her life.”

Speaking of the girl’s family she added: “They are committed to providing for her long-term future and fully support her applications.”

The court also heard that the teenager had “extremely strong feelings about her legal status” and that she wanted to “revert to having legal status as a member of her biological family”.

Mrs Justice Pauffley said: “Whilst I altogether accept that public policy considerations ordinarily militate against revoking properly made adoption orders and rightly so, instances can and do arise where it is appropriate so to do.

“This case, it seems to me, falls well within the range of ‘highly exceptional and very particular’ such that I can exercise my discretion to make the revocation order sought”.

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Adoption can be one of the most complex procedures to carry out and can require a deep knowledge. If you require advice regarding adoption or if you need the services of our team of solicitors to begin proceedings, or if you have any questions regarding adoption or any part of family law, contact us today using our online contact form.

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