Care and Adoption

“6 Pump Court’s group has ‘a breadth and depth of knowledge’ in both children and finance matters. Areas of expertise range from complex TOLATA claims to international children relocation cases”.

Legal 500 (2015)

Care and Adoption orders are the most draconian orders available to the courts since the abolition of the death penalty. The risk is permanent removal of a child from their family and expert representation is essential.

Our public law practitioners have substantial experience in the most difficult cases including:

  • Representing parents accused of serious physical, sexual and emotional child abuse
  • Neglect
  • Fabricated illness
  • Acting for parents with learning disabilities involving the Official Solicitor
  • Contact with children in care
  • Adoption including parental rights
  • Secure accommodation
  • Wardship and inherent jurisdiction
  • Disclosure
  • Publicity
  • The role of grandparents and other family members in care cases
  • Special guardianship finances

Chambers has a strong criminal team and we are very often instructed by the police and CPS to deal with intricate matters of disclosure in child abuse cases.

 

Our recent cases include:

  • Re B (Paternal Grandmother: Joinder as party) [2012] EWCA CIV 737 – representing Grandmother in Court of Appeal who had been given leave in consolidated Private Law proceedings but refused leave in the Public Law matter.
  • Involved in the leading case on non-disclosure in a matter relating to alleged “honour” based violence, A v A Local Authority [2009] EWCA Civ.
  • Acting for the child in a care case involving injuries to a baby, in which the first instance findings of NAI were overturned on appeal on the ground that the judge had reversed the burden of proof. Re M (a child) [2012] EWCA 1580.
  • Successfully opposing plans for adoption in a case involving parents suffering from a disability and where the child suffered from the same disability. Both the Local Authority and Guardian supported adoption. Child remained with parents under a supervision order.
  • Successfully challenging medical opinion in a case involving osteopenia of prematurity when 4 experts from different specialties supported findings of non-accidental injury.
  • Successfully obtained the return of children to a father following an abusive episode by the mother and thereafter a managed return of the mother to the home.
  • Successfully challenging the Local Authority and Guardian in a case involving extreme domestic violence contrary to the expert opinion.
  • Involved in a case involving the Official Solicitor where there was a concern that disclosure to a parent of an expert’s report would trigger an adverse reaction whilst caring for the child.
  • Involved in numerous cases where parents and other family members have been permitted to take on the care of children following initial unfavourable assessments.
  • Involved in a dispute in the High Court concerning whether a Local Authority can exercise PR under an interim care order to prevent the parents circumcising their son for religious reasons.
  • Acting for father with severe learning disabilities accused of sexual abuse and neglect of children with learning disabilities. Both father and one adult child were represented by the Official Solicitor. Consideration was given to the different decision making processes by the Official Solicitor in child care and protected adult situations. High Court.
  • Acting for mother in 5 day fact finding where she was found to have inflicted a number of injuries to her daughter over a sustained period of time.