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Someone had blundered


I’ve written many times about how unusual it is for a Court to revoke an adoption order. If memory serves, I have only found four examples before – one last year where the adopters physically abused the child who returned to birth mother and who felt very strongly about wanting the order revoked, one where a step-parent adoption was made where the mother had not told the birth father that she was terminally ill and if he had known that he would not have consented and I can’t remember the details of the other two – they were both from the 1970s.


This is the fifth one.  Which also, bizarrely, became the sixth one as well. This child may well, in due course, have the unusual and unique history of being adopted twice by the same people.


RE J (A Minor: Revocation of Adoption) 2017

And it is just frankly, a mistake.

It seems that there was a hearing before a Circuit Judge. The mother attended, wanting to oppose the adoption. There was no social worker present, and it appeared that the Judge became muddled as to what application she was dealing with.


  1. The appropriate course might have been to impress on the mother the complexity of her application and her need to seek legal advice and/or representation. In any event, given the emphasis on ‘due process’ which operates, by definition, reciprocally between the parties, the mother ought to have been required to file evidence and directions given accordingly. From this, would have stemmed further directions for a statement in response by the Local Authority, appointment of a CAFCASS guardian and an inter partes re-listed hearing.


  1. It is abundantly clear, I regret to say, that the Judge became confused as to what application she was hearing and what procedure she was following. The Judge adjourned to consider her decision, handing down a written judgment on 3 October 2017. Very properly the Judge addressed the criteria in Section 47(5), concluding that the mother had failed to demonstrate sufficient change to justify ‘reopening the issue of the plan for [J]’. She observed that J was happily placed with devoted carers and that his placement ‘has offered a boost to his positive development’ and that ‘with every week that passes he is progressing well’. The Judge went on to note that the mother’s own assertion that she had stopped drinking alcohol (one of the causes of her parenting deficits) for a period of three months was insufficient to establish the first element of the test in Section 47. Judge Penna noted ‘there is a substantial risk that I would be setting her up to fail’. The Judge went on to consider the benefits of J’s placement in the context of the wider discretionary exercise and concluded that J’s mother had ‘not shown sufficient change for me to grant her leave to oppose the adoption’.
  2. Had the Judge stopped there all might have been well but, inexplicably she proceeded to grant an adoption order to the applicants, at this first directions hearing. She manifestly had insufficient material before her to make the Order which is perhaps the most draconian in the Family law canon. This was a complete aberration and plainly flawed. The Judgment was handed down on the 9 October 2017, circulated both to the parties and to the Registrar General, in order to make an entry in the Adopted Children Register in the form specified by regulations. It must be stated unambiguously that the Order provided that ‘the child is adopted by [K] and [N], the applicants.’ Finally, the Court directed that the entry in the Register of Live Births be marked with the word Adopted. As I understand it, J’s carers now believe him to be their adopted son.



When the Local Authority legal department received the order, they immediately realised that something had gone wrong. They contacted the Judge, who realised her mistake, but compounded the error by revoking the Adoption Order (which she did not have power to do. She perhaps had not realised that she was exceeding her power and also that this was only the fifth time that an adoption order had been revoked)


  1. A number of basic principles need reiteration. Once a child is adopted this entirely severs all legal ties with the birth family and introduces a new legal parental relationship with the adopter’s family. The Court does not make an adoption order unless it is satisfied both that nothing else will do and, for the particular child, nothing else is better. It follows, that the Court will be similarly cautious when contemplating a revocation of an adoption order which is intended to be final and lifelong. Such revocations were described by Pauffley J in PK the Mr & Mrs K [2015] EWHC 2316 (Fam) as ‘highly exceptional and very particular’. Their ‘exceptional’ nature has been repeatedly emphasised see Re. B (Adoption: Jurisdiction to set aside) [1995] Fam 239, Re. Webster v Norfolk County Council and the Children (by their children’s guardian) [2009] EWCA Civ 59, Re. W (Inherent Jurisdiction: Permission Application: Revocation and Adoption Order) [2013] 2 FLR 1609. I draw the inference that Judge Penna revoked the Order in recognition of her error on the basis of the facts and chronology that I have outlined. They permit of no other interpretation. The Judge did not set out her reasoning in any additional judgment.
  2. More problematically, the process of revocation requires the High Court to invoke its inherent jurisdiction. This signals both the rarity of the Order and, inevitably, its unavailability to Judge Penna sitting in the County Court. As it transpired, before the Order was drafted, or sealed, the matter came to the attention of HHJ Newton, the Designated Family Judge. Judge Newton informed me of the situation and transferred the case to me on 23 October 2017. Judge Newton’s prompt action was doubtless driven by her recognition of the real potential for distress to both the birth parents and the adopters in consequence of what has occurred. An equally swift response is therefore required from me. I have not requested the attendance of the parties and have been able properly to deal with this case administratively,
  3. It strikes me that there are two equally legitimate alternatives here, either to refer the matter to the Court of Appeal or to address it myself in this Court. The latter course has the obvious attraction of avoiding delay. Primarily however, I have come to the conclusion that as Judge Penna’s purported Revocation Order was outside her powers, thus plainly void and as it was intercepted before being drawn or sealed, consideration of revocation may properly be addressed in the High Court. On the facts of this case, probably uniquely, I am also satisfied that the Court can and indeed should consider revoking the Order of its own motion.
  4. For the reasons which are set out above, I consider the circumstances in which this adoption order was made are ‘highly exceptional and very particular’ to use Pauffley J’s elegant and succinct phase. Whilst the Law Reports do not reveal this situation as having occurred before, there are some similarities with Re. K (Adoption & Wardship) [1997] 2 FLR 221. There the Court of Appeal indicated that where an adoption procedure had been fatally flawed, an application to revoke should be made to the High Court. Here there was, in short, a complete absence of due process and a wholesale abandonment of correct procedure and guidance. That is a clear basis upon which to consider whether the Order should be revoked.
  5. I am profoundly conscious of the impact of my decision on both the birth parents and the prospective adopters both of whom will be distressed and unsettled by this uncertainty. I would however, emphasise one important and, in my judgment, inalienable right, namely, that of J to know in the future that the process by which he may have been permanently separated from his family was characterised by fairness, detailed scrutiny and integrity.



So, this was not the finest hour of the family Court.  But by way of scant consolation, I will tell you all about an Australian Court, where the Court was deciding whether a fall from a horse constituted a “motor accident”  (the horse was startled by a car horn and bolted).  The judgment in the case was 138 pages long, which seems long, but perhaps it was warranted. What was NOT warranted, was the Judge reading the whole thing aloud to the parties, a process which took 17 HOURS.

FOUR FULL DAYS of listening to a judgment.


And the Judge in question, to keep the suspense going, didn’t hint at the result until part way through day three.

I appreciate that I am a sad legal geek, and there are many judgments that I really enjoy reading. But even I would baulk at sitting and listening to someone read out a judgment over 17 hours.

If Mr Justice Peter Jackson was delivering a judgment on conjoined twins, one of whom was a Jehovah’s Witness and one who was Plymouth Brethern and there were allegations of Fabricated or Induced Illness, AND the Judge had managed to deliver the judgment via séance with Richard Burton reading it out loud on his behalf (with occasional bursts of Peter Sellers doing voices of any witness who was quoted verbatim), I’d still have had enough after a day. Four days would be excessive even for that.


And oh, by the way, the Judge in that case was overturned on appeal, so a complete waste of four days.


It is also of concern, as Payne JA has pointed out, that the primary judge made, at best, minor reference in his reasons to the framework within which the legal questions posed for consideration fell


If you’ve made me sit and listen for four full days, I don’t expect the legal framework to have only been given MINOR REFERENCE….



About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

82 responses

  1. In Webster, if I remember correctly the Judge said it was impossible to revoke adoption order, as against public interest as no one would adopt.

    Although in Scotland it has and does happen.

    Must be bad . Thank you for this

    • Not impossible, Webster said there were very powerful reasons not to do it years later. But it is really rare. 18 years between 2nd and 3rd. 24 between 3rd and 4th. Really rare

      • thank you for this information.

        Would be interesting to compare to Scotland and think why public interest is put above the welfare of the child an d s8 HRA.

      • Yes I think great shame that the family justice review looked at Australia but didn’t even mention Scotland

      • I think there’s a lot of snobbishness in England in assuming that the Scottish system is terrible. In fact, it was a stick to beat us with about 26 weeks “If you don’t manage to get care proceedings down to 26 weeks, the Government will impose tribunals, like in Scotland” was something I heard over and over in 2013-14

      • It is not snobbishness but gerrymandering of our legal system by the executive.

        Adoption was Cameron’s flagship policy. He complained of only 60 babies being available for adoption ignoring the fact that the only available are now from our care system.

        Sir Narey reported in the Times , became Adoption Tsar and care applications increased from 700 in 2011 to 1650. Care proceedings 26 time limit was set by statue.

        Adoption and fostering are now largely private making millions profit or recycled if Charity like CORAM.

        Concurrent planning was renamed fostering to adopt and introduced, making it harder for parents to reclaim.
        Successful Care Applications are up from 80% to 98% and as we have seen adoption orders are almost impossible to reverse.

        Worse still, we still have no definitive numbers on adoption breakdowns and no research on the outcomes of children in care or adoption other than that they appear in care to be dire.
        So dire the LA tried to statutorily exempt themselves from liability for their care.

      • My reference to care applications is per month.

      • Andrew, it’s off topic but, I am just wondering, for a child who was adopted, upon adulthood, if they wished to use their original birth certificate, and the identity on that. Is that something that the law allows for? Also for a child who feels they were unnecessarily adopted and no longer wishes to be the legal child of the adopters, do they have the ability to renounce that identity at all?

      • The classic case on that was the man (and apologies, because I can’t remember which way round this was) – I think he was born of Israeli parents, but was adopted into a Muslim family, and in adulthood wanted to revoke/set aside his adoption because it was causing him problems with the culture of his choosing rather than his upbringing. And at that time, he wasn’t allowed to do it. I’m not sure if the same outcome would happen if the Court were faced with a similar issue now – at that time, revocation of adoption was limited really to deception. The Pauffley J case somewhat opens the door to the adopted person’s wishes being something wich might prevail.

      • Anyone in the uk can change their name whenever they like without deed poll or solicitors so the adoptee could do that on reaching age 18

      • Not being able to set aside your own adoption in adulthood is abominable. It’s a bit like telling a child bride that she cannot divorce her husband. Because adoptees, just like child brides, had no say in the marriage/adoption contract. I wonder if this is another ‘against public interest, as no one would adopt’ measure? I wonder how many adopters would go ahead with the adoption if they knew the child had the right to relinquish their adoptive identity upon adulthood, because the (state ordained fictitious character) adoptive ‘birth certificate’ seems to be rather important to adopters. Almost like a certificate of ownership. You know the only other people to have their identity removed in such a way, with no recourse to their original identity was don’t you?……… slaves.

  2. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    Balances and checks exist for a purpose which must be followed to the letter, for children won’t adopt themselves to strangers.
    “14. I am profoundly conscious of the impact of my decision on both the birth parents and the prospective adopters both of whom will be distressed and unsettled by this uncertainty. I would however, emphasise one important and, in my judgment, inalienable right, namely, that of J to know in the future that the process by which he may have been permanently separated from his family was characterised by fairness, detailed scrutiny and integrity.”

    • My grandson is now 21yrs of age, for whatever reason lives independently I know his address, I also have QC Fockes full Case file (given to me by the man himself after 1st half of split case) this file contains police document with legal birth certified name of my grandchild without his second Christian name, (probably in preparation of the addition of his mothers surname in FPC a child with four names might have come under suspicion??
      I have his family video from Birth, Photographs until the day before he was taken
      All Birth details from hospital (whom were never party to court proceedings) so where did the medical EVIDENCE come from? Anybodies guess
      Every request I have made to Agencies that are supposed to help with after adoption has been answered with silence
      So what do we now do? Turn up at his door??????

      • Over-interventionism through ‘potential risk of future emotional harm’ has run its course and cannot withstand objective factual scrutiny. It is a ticking time bomb which will clog up the courts with future class actions so must be scrapped now as a catch-all basis for forcible child removal from birth families for both adoption and long-term fostering purposes.

        It’s hard to see how the legal fiction of adoption on this basis with the concomitant severing of birth ties can now survive the (still teething) holistic not linear, proportionality, fairness, ‘nothing else will do’ or nothing else is better and overriding objective CPR tests as reasonable and necessary in all the circumstances of the child and family.

        Absent parental fault forcible child removal is nothing but social engineering and a gross violation of the limits of state intervention into family life and possibly straying into child identity theft.

        It’s only common sense that the right to Truth of every single forcibly-removed child trumps any presumption of no duty of care, whether it be vicarious or non-delegable shouldn’t really matter.

        Wider judicial recognition that the corporate parent’s resources (which include having an in-house legal department) create an unfair advantage against birth parents who often end up gagged is still needed.

        The historic failings of birth parent lawyers who bat for the other side to undermine their own client’s cases (birth parents) mitigate against the presumption of good-enough representation in order to adduce good-enough parenting at court by providing a point-by-point rebuttal of the local authorities case.

        Do we really need shadow legal representation in this country as touted in the US to ensure that parents interests get represented properly at critical times in public law proceedings before things improve?

        Equally concerning are semi-literate so-called guardian ad litems with no compunction in replacing the child’s voice with their own, who operate as the eyes and ears of the court with impunity and for whom justice is long overdue.

        Access to justice remains impeded not just by cuts to legal aid but by instances of Judges retaining lawyers after parents have fired them to prevent parents engaging and securing their family human rights in practise.

        But, above all, there is a special opprobrium for selective blindness by those judges who against their training and instincts choose to look the other way and blindly rubber-stamp forcible child removal on wholly inadequate evidence.

        How long before the new post-Hillsborough public ‘duty of candour’ applies to local authorities and over-zealous child protection social workers?

        And to all public officials with no exception?

        Though perhaps history will view the public family law excesses in recent decades in this country as another Blairite blunder of WMD proportions emanating from Pestminister this is little comfort to those whose lives have been destroyed. Though the lie may have spread, and been believed and even rubber-stamped, it will not be through those innocents who conscientiously object to lemming logic based on fake facts and fake consensus.

        By any measure, individual and family autonomy outweigh statism and corporatocracy and not the other way around to be and remain democratic. By definition, undue influence and closed procedures are disturbing hallmarks and features of totalitarian regimes unbefitting liberal democracies, much less our so-called ‘fount of democracy to the world.’ How court proceedings can miss this beggars belief.

        To be functional, rule of law must not just recite res judicata but include judicial review together with correcting errors of fact in good faith on appeal in practice. Birth children and parents being stereotyped and disentitled to family life by default is a grave wrong which must be righted and anyone who complains is not just a whining ingrate to be ignored. Blaming the victim epitomises the problem which is abuse of power and the vile perpetrators who feed off each other perpetuate these problems, all at taxpayers expense.

        Adoptive and foster care placements are an expensive community resource, which, like hospital beds, should be allocated strictly according to clinical need.

        Parliament never intended or envisaged s31 would become a basis for non-fault forcible child removal. Children should remain their parent’s responsibility and not the state’s unless they are guilty of actually harming them. The historical track record and proven propensity of state abuse of ‘likelihood of harm’ per CA 1989 s31 2 (a) and (b) means it is no longer fit for purpose hence ripe for reform.

        Munby as President and author of the CA has recently decided to delay his retirement.
        Perhaps Justice is finally coming and may yet prevail …

      • I am so sorry for your loss, NotInMyName.
        Another damning indictment of injustice in a system gone wrong.
        Tried breaking the ice gently – suggest a greeting card?

      • For goodness sake “notinmyname” show some guts ! Yes turn up at his door and see him face to face;Either you care or you don’t and I suspect the latter ! I have helped other victims of “forced adoption” find their birth parents and inevitably they drop their adopted parents and reunite with their true families when they learn the truth! I can send you details if you send me your email address to

      • Ian, for a birth parent who has found their child before the age of 18, what would you suggest out of interest? I happen to know a birth Mum who has found her child, she requested face to face contact and that was refused. The adopters then cancelled her letterbox as some sort of sick punishment for her asking to see her own child (Future risk removal by the way). Other than the obvious emotional ramifications of just turning up, what would the legal ones be do you know? Given the child was removed for ‘future risk’ and not abuse or neglect, it’s hard to see how she can be seen as a contact risk with him. I think what is quite obvious to me with these future risk removals is that the parents, upon finding their child seem to see the threat of imprisonment as a worthy trade off to end the pain of not seeing their children at all, and they all relish the desired chance to tell the child that they are loved and were fought for.

        Also, some comments on Mumsnet about post adoption contact go along the line of, ‘well if having contact with the birth parents was the only way that you would be allowed to adopt, you’d do it, because it’s better than not having a child at all’. It really sickens me how these people would allow post adoption contact if they had to in order to be able to adopt, but they cannot just do it out of good conscience. Absolute vultures.

      • If you as a birth parent find your adopted child face to face contact immediately is the answer
        No messing about with emails and letters just make face to face contact and it usually works !

        Here are two success stories ;- 1:- Winona Varney and her sister Danielle in which I was very much involved who I helped to happily reunite with their birth mother, and 2:- Von and Tammy who look more like sisters than mother and daughter and were happily reunited for good once they found each other.

        Remember also that social workers often LIE and say a child has been adopted when it is in fact still in care ! Only believe a letter from the court not words from the SS

        By Christopher Booker sUNDAY TELEGRAPH

        7:25PM BST 21 Aug 2010

        Comments167 Comments

        For once, after all the shocking stories I have reported on the secretive system that allows social workers to seize children from loving parents for no good reason, to send them for adoption, I can at last report a story where a family torn apart for nine years has been reunited.

        Winona Varney was reunited with her family through Facebook

        When Winona Varney, now a pretty 16-year-old, recently fell into the arms of her mother Tracey at Truro railway station, they had not seen each other since she was seven. During that time, she and her 12-year-old sister Daniella have been living unhappily with an adoptive family, who repeatedly told them that their mother was a bad woman who did not love or want them. But when, in June, Winona managed to track her mother down, via Facebook, a short time later the two girls and their mother were again living under the same roof.

        This harrowing story began back in 1997, when social workers from Cornwall county council received a wholly erroneous tip-off that there might be drugs in the house where Tracey lived with her partner. The day after the birth of their first child, a boy, they were made to sign an agreement that they would “work with social services”. Tracey then had two daughters, Winona and Daniella; but their father, who had been in care himself, had a strong aversion to social workers and eventually threatened one with violence.

        On the social workers’ insistence, in order to keep her children, Tracey left her partner. She and they were sent to a mother and child unit in Staffordshire, where she often had to protect them from abuse by other inmates. Eventually, though there was no evidence that Tracey had harmed them in any way, the girls were sent for adoption, on the grounds that they were “at risk of emotional abuse”. They were taken in by a couple in a nearby Cornish village, and Winona was given a new name. (Their brother, however, was returned to his mother, after a year in foster care.)

        Year after year, unaware of her daughters’ whereabouts, Tracey sent loving birthday and Christmas cards to them. But this could only be done through social services – who never passed them on. According to Winona, she and her sister were constantly told both by social workers and their adoptive parents that their mother was “a horrible person” who didn’t love them.

        Tracey eventually found a new partner with whom she had two more daughters. In June this year, Winona managed to track down her mother through Facebook, and they arranged to meet at Truro station. They couldn’t believe their happiness at being reunited and more secret meetings followed.

        When Daniella was told what was going on, she was initially wary, because of the lies she had been told about her mother. But twice the girls escaped at night through windows for further meetings, until eventually Winona rang the adoptive parents to say they were both going back to live with their mother.

        Winona is so angry about what has been done to them that she has opened a page on Facebook entitled “Anti-Social Services Forced Adoption – We Can Help!”, to join up with other children in the same plight. She pays tribute to the advice she was given by Ian Josephs, the businessman living in the South of France who, through his Forced Adoption website, has helped hundreds of families who have fallen into the clutches of this corrupt and secretive system.

        Not dissimilar was the case of Tammy Coulter, taken away from her mother by Derbyshire social workers when she was only seven months old, after an accident left her with a bruised cheek. After time in foster care, she was put out for adoption by a judge who said that, thanks to delays by the social workers, she and her mother would by now be strangers. Only after 17 years did she find her mother again through the website Genes Reunited, and was able to return happily to her birth family.

        In 2006, Tammy told a London audience, which included judges, lawyers and Harriet Harman MP: “Finding out you’ve been adopted is one of the worst feelings in the world, because you feel that all of your identity, everything you’ve known about yourself, is a lie.” She said she was speaking out “on behalf of children and parents who have also been through the secrecy of family courts and the injustices that have taken place, and the devastation of one decision that determines the future of a child”.

        After nine years of misery, Winona Varney would agree. She says that after going to college, she wants to get involved in child care – “but certainly not as a social worker, because I have seen what they can do”.

        2 Von and Tammy on ITV local news – YouTube

      • Sorry but maybe I WAS NOT CLEAR ;if you find your adopted child never tell social workers,just go for face to face contact straight away !

      • You have previously stated that B (A Minor), Re [1997] EWCA Civ 2190 (25 July 1997) in the case in question.

        The appeal briefly summarises the case. Given the concurrence of all the medical experts that the child had suffered a significant non-accidental head injury at some point in the three weeks prior to 4th September 1996 and the judge finding the parent’s account not to be credible. The court appears to have been entirely justified in refusing the appeal,

      • You can by law only get in touch now through the British Adoption and Fostering Agency or whatever they are called now and they charge. Have you seen Long Lost Families ?

        They will notify your grandson and ask him if he wants to get in touch, if he doesn’t there is nothing you can do.

        Best Wishes and hope it turns out OK We need our blood and roots.

      • sorry Finola but that is nonsense ! You need noone’s permission to get in touch if you have successfully traced your offspring after they have been adopted ! Just look back about 20 comments from here and you will see the success stories of Winona Varney and Tammy Coulter that illustrate that point twice over;
        I repeat my message to all parents who have been so fortunate as to track down their adopted children . “CRASH IN AND MAKE FACE TO FACE CONTACT BEFORE ANYONE GETS NERVOUS AND CHANGES THEIR MIND OR WHO HAS SOCIAL WORKERS DO IT FOR THEM !

      • Hope you are right, but I do know, that BAAF trains people as intermediaries and we have TV telling us, that if you are searching for an adopted child, you have to go through a government agency . I only repeat what the public are being told and the training for this by BAAF in UK Universities. And only because this might be the reason the person has not been able to make contact. Clearly if you know where your child is, you could approach them, although don’t know if there is some penalty in law for this, but the normally situation is, as in the TV programme long lost families, is that their whereabouts are not known and this procedure ie contact BAAF or whoever now, is the only means of finding out where an adopted child is. Best Wishes Finola

      • I’m not going to stifle this conversation, but just to be clear, nothing on this site, including the comments should be viewed as advice as to what any individual person should do in their situation. The blog does not endorse any advice tendered by others, because you need to know ALL of the facts before you can give someone bespoke advice

      • Clearly, all people concerned reading this blog can only use the information as a source of discussion, and must check the information provided, as you say, as it applies to their particular and as verified from others official sources. But sadly information per se or that can be relied on is difficult to find .

      • Reliable and accurate information regarding post adoption contact is like a four leaf clover – hard to find. I have to agree with Ian, I think his advice to just approach is the right way to go about things. I advised a Mum who found her child to approach the LA to ask the adopters for face to face contact. Not only did the adopters say no, they cancelled her letterbox. She lost her child for ‘future risk’, so the child was neither abused nor neglected, but rather, abducted by abstract concept. If I could go back, my advice would be find out their routine, and ‘bump into’ them. No adopters turning nasty because you dared to ask to see your child then!

      • Andrew, Finola writes ‘Clearly if you know where your child is, you could approach them, although don’t know if there is some penalty in law for this’, could you enlighten us, is there a penalty for contacting a child over 18? and is there a penalty for contacting a child under 18? I would be very interested to know the answer.

      • I think the real issue is how the child would react without being prepared for this. A birth parent could find that the approach scares the child off from what could have been a pleasant and happy experience. I don’t believe there’s any specific criminal offence, if no threats, breach of peace or stalking/harassment.

      • NO PENALTY AT ALL !! No law exists to stop birth parents tracking down their adopted children; They should never even inform the “SS” let alone ask for permission ! Anythig not illegal is legal and I DEFY ANYONE TO PROVE DIFFERENTLY IN THESE CASES !

      • Andrew, a Mother lost her child for ‘future risk’, it took the LA THREE psychological assessments before they could assassinate her character enough to procure the child for adoption. She did what her and myself at the time thought was the ‘right thing’ which was, approach the LA and ask them to ask the adopters for face to face contact (Mum managed to find placement). Not only did the adopters refuse, but as some sort of sick punishment, they cancelled her letterbox. How on earth do you tell someone, sit and twiddle your thumbs until the adopters grow a bloody conscience and allow you to see your child?

      • I’m not telling anyone to do anything Ian. I’m very specific that I don’t give advice to individuals. Unless they are my client and I am their lawyer. That’s how it works

      • Also, had the adopters not have refused contact when the Mum asked, they would have had the chance to prepare the child. Given that they turned very nasty, I find it a little difficult to believe that the full responsibility of an unprepared approach lays with the Mother in this case. At the very least they could have kept her sweet with the letterbox, but they decided to cancel that, and that is likely to cost them.

      • If this is so,, it is almost certainly in the secret Echedule B, shown to the judge, in these cases.

        it will almost certainly contain opinions from the Named Doctor for child abuse in the hospital.

        Also reports from the midwife service under what is known as the Childrens Refferral System, containing any information against the mother in her previous life. Two markers and its a child protection investigation.

  3. Naturally all law abiding birth parents are upset when their children are given to strangers for adoption. If on the other hand an adoption order is overturned and adoptive parents are upset I am glad to hear it as adoptive parents who take a child from parent(s) wanting to keep it deserve everything they get as wicked people with little or no feeling for the birth parents or for their child.
    Noone should adopt a child if birth parents who have never been convicted of harming the child and who are law abiding have fought in court to keep their child.
    It is in my opinion an especially vile crime against humanity to snatch a child at birth for fear of events that may never happen.

    • Well said Ian, So many natural parents say the same thing ‘I have kept all my paperwork/covert recordings to show my child that I did nothing wrong’, so the adoptive parents will have more upset in store when ‘their children’ find their natural parents and learn of the real reasons they were adopted. So many rejections just waiting to happen (I’ve been unfortunate enough to witness one). I’m starting to think that when the LA claim ‘risk of future emotional harm’ that they should clarify to who that is exactly – the natural parents upon removal, the child once it learns its true life story, and the adopters when their forever child rejects them in favour of their real family. Any body who would happily have the LA hack into somebody’s family tree, their heritage and ancestry, and remove a child for future risk, purely so that they get the chance to parent, is a vulture. Plain and simple.

      My advice to all parents would be put a request in writing once a year for face to face contact. One Mother I advised this to (Future risk – Mother of loss) got a visit from the contact coordinator to say that not only were the adopters saying no, they were cancelling letterbox (some sort of sick punishment for having the nerve to ask I suppose), and the letterbox lady informed her that the adopters asked her how they can prevent her and her family from having contact with the child after the child’s 18th. The letterbox lady had to explain that is not possible. Mum covertly recorded the whole thing, at the end of the meeting she asked for the LA to put the refusal in writing, letterbox lady smugly refused until Mum pulled the tape recorder out of her bra, and said ‘it’s okay, I have this’.

      Add the contact refusal to the fact that Mum lost her child after two good psych reports, a great ISW report, a great ISW report of her sister, (unfortunately for this Mum, her own Mother had the nerve to die whilst she was in proceedings, and then they threw her in with the third psych), and your asking for trouble. Had somebody have done this to my Mother and palmed me off on strangers whose only interest in me exists because they exhausted all other options at having their own child. There would be hell to pay.

  4. ashamedtobebritish

    This just about sums up how easy an injustice takes place. Although in this case it was picked up, how many haven’t been?

    • As a family we were advised by QC Focke to appeal to change the false name used by the local Authority in my grandsons FPC, which we did, we appealed to change the false name back to his birth certified name (first half of split case only)

      This was refused, and they (the judges Thorpe & Phillips) stated they would do us the
      family a favour join the split case together NO further appeal to change childs name allowed

      This was sent back to original area court, yet in this same court my grandsons name was changed back to birth certified name without court permission, Case split, second part of FPC only used for Adoption proceedings stating mothers name only a mother who suffered a complete melt down from the persecution and loss of her beautiful, loved son the only child she or my son has ever given birth to having the threat of LA removal of any child they have either together or seperately hanging over them for life

      • I’m not entirely sure what the relevence of this is. Provided that there is no doubt about the child in question in the case what name is used doesn’t seem that important. Could you give a reference for the case in question?

  5. A random enquiry, but are you familiar with Uncommon Law by A P Herbert? Humorous fictional judgements which to a non-lawyer like me tickle the proverbials no end.

  6. Social workers should be restricted to supporting families with police responsible for removing only those children who were victims of crimes committed by parents; Simple isn’t it?

  7. Social Workers were not to blame for my families injustice, It was the Court Guardian Ad Litem, lead by Redcar & Cleveland Local Authorities firm of Solicitors that handle all their child care case who sent me a letter threatening me with Contempt of Court proceedings if I did not desist persuing justice for Grandson, and family

  8. Might I ADD
    Hopefully we all know the Guardian Adlitum IS THE COURT in child care cases, everything that went wrong was conjured up between her and the LA solicitor the court staff acted on her orders, no one else within proceedings has the power

  9. 14. I am profoundly conscious of the impact of my decision on both the birth parents and the prospective adopters both of whom will be distressed and unsettled by this uncertainty. I would however, emphasise one important and, in my judgment, inalienable right, namely, that of J to know in the future that the process by which he may have been permanently separated from his family was characterised by fairness, detailed scrutiny and integrity.

    If this has only been noticed recently, i have good reason to suspect my child/natural child (now young adult) could potentially be the fifth and sixth one (re: your paragraph 2) and to cut a long story short it has taken ’10 whole years’ to come to light. Neither the said now young adult (who does want answers) or i (on their behalf) seem to be getting any answers.

    You can make an application to Court and go about things the right way and be instead, slapped with a Restriction Order on you when really, you required much needed answers.

    Maybe not so unusual and unique when you consider this first-

    Thank you.

  10. Reblogged this on tummum's Blog and commented:
    14. I am profoundly conscious of the impact of my decision on both the birth parents and the prospective adopters both of whom will be distressed and unsettled by this uncertainty. I would however, emphasise one important and, in my judgment, inalienable right, namely, that of J to know in the future that the process by which he may have been permanently separated from his family was characterised by fairness, detailed scrutiny and integrity.

    If this has only been noticed recently, i have good reason to suspect my child/natural child (now young adult) could potentially be the fifth and sixth one (re: your paragraph 2) and to cut a long story short it has taken ’10 whole years’ to come to light. Neither the said now young adult (who does want answers) or i (on their behalf) seem to be getting any answers.

    You can make an application to Court and go about things the right way and be instead, slapped with a Restriction Order on you when really, you required much needed answers.

    Maybe not so unusual and unique when you consider this first-

    Thank you.

  11. Pingback: Someone had blundered | tummum's Blog

  12. Pingback: #FamilyLaw #Adoption #FosterCare #Proportionality #Fairness #ChildsRightToTruth #Statism #Corporatocracy #Autonomy | | truthaholics

  13. @bpdunbar
    Exactly, how guilty has the release of this information ONLY to the public made us the family ?

    Nothing made public about the APPLICATION made that we rightly or wrongly applied (on QC Fockes advise) to change childs name on case and all Court Orders back to his BIRTH CERTIFIED NAME


    My grandson was REFERRED BACK TO HOSPITAL OF BIRTH for well documented concerns and medical evidence, obtained throughout the first 6WEEKS of his life since his well documented BREECH, STARVED OF OXYGEN BIRTH, ie NO SUCKING REFLEX, EYES INFECTION, CAT LIKE CRY, HEAD JERKING BACK SPASMS, HEAD NOT GROWING
    nothing to do with an accident or dropping on a kitchen floor?????

  14. The court of appeal summary of the case quotes the medical professionals as follows:

    “R has suffered two impact injuries to his skull and one episode of severe shaking/whiplash injury to the head. A further episode of shaking injury immediately before his admission to hospital is also most likely on the evidence. There are no predisposing factors in R’s development or behaviour (video tape viewed) and there is no pre-existing brain abnormality which increased vulnerability. A number of scenarios have been presented and considered and none of these are tenable as explanations for his multiple injuries.
    We, the undersigned, are fully agreed on a strong balance of probability that R had suffered shaking head trauma and impact head trauma and that much of this trauma has been non-accidental.”

    Which indicates that the injury was not present at birth and occurred while in the custody of the parents. Therefore the parents presented a serious danger to the child.

    With family law it is normal to avoid publishing potentially identifying evidence, such as the name. I am still not sure what actual difference it makes. As long as it is clear that all of the relevant information is available.

    Lord Justice Thorpe’s concluding paragraph is as follows:

    “It is easy to understand how traumatic for the parents and, indeed, for the grandparents has been this outcome. But it is a case in which there was a wealth of expertise and complete unanimity amongst the experts, including the expert specifically instructed on the parent’s behalf. The judgment of Bennett J is particularly full and careful, as an issue of such importance demanded. But, in my judgment, it would be quite impossible to conclude that anything that has been said or written in support of these applications discloses the least error in the trial proceedings or the least prospect of success on an appellate review. For my part, I would refuse these applications.”

  15. Thank you for taking the time for printing this
    Fast Forward to 3rd May 2000 Leeds Court Judge Cazalat, Redcar & Cleveland Social Services Application Gagging Order Father & Grandparents
    During this court Session Judge Cazalat stopped the Court & Recessed for 2hrs
    Back in court, Judge Cazalat stated He remembered us the family (Including the mother (Name) from appearing before him prior and he wanted the court to know we were one of the most honest families including the mother (by name) to have ever appeared before him, and that R is now adopted, and asked What could he now DO? I grandmother replied What could he do? then answered my own question, All we can do is SUE to which he nodded in agreement, lifted from his seat and left the court, His retirement from the bench is available on Google
    This is were we are stuck every Cause of Action as litigants in person Stated in Middlesbrough
    OPEN court has been judged by Judge Gillian Matthews; as, Criminal, therefore nothing done within Civil Courts can be sued for a Criminal Offence, and to be honest I do not know a Cause of Action in Civil Law that comes anywhere near what my family suffered at the hands of this injustice.

  16. The only part of the case that appears to be publicly accessible is the appeal. The facts found at the original hearing by Bennett J are extremely damaging to your case. Unless you have actual grounds for disputing the medical testimony then the court was correct.

    As it is a family law case there are usually substantial restrictions on what information can be disclosed, disclosure of confidential and potentially identifying evidence could easily be contempt of court.

    I’m still not sure what your ranting about the name is meant to prove. It just seems a minor clerical error of no real consequence. Could you give some indication of why you think it matters?



      Local Authorities have amazing powers? the ability to create a child, produce medical evidence for court proceedings, and convince a court that the parents of this creation, were abusive to this non child that has never existed in law

      • I have repeatedly requested that you explain how this alleged error in certain court documents adversely affected the decision. You complain that the child’s name was given incorrectly but so far have given no reason why this matters or why this is an injustice rather than an inconsequential error.

        Nothing you have said so far gives any reason why the court was incorrect to accept the medical evidence.

  17. The medical evidence is mentioned in the judgment. A number of medical experts gave a consensus medical opinion, that the injuries had been suffered while the child was in the custody of the parents. They explicitly state that there was no pre existing abnormality. The medical experts included one chosen by the parents.

    Are you contending that an error in the name given for the child prevented the experts from having access to the child’s medical notes from the time of birth and there there was in fact a pre-existing abnormality?

    This seems, with respect, a rather unlikely proposition as conscientious medical experts would take steps to insure they were as well informed as practical before reaching an opinion. And if the information was so incomplete your legal team would have been expected to challenge this. It would however at least be relevant.

    A mere typographical error however would not be relevant. It might have caused some inconvenience to fix it and ensure that the court had the information required but would not affect the courts decision.

    • YOU say “A number of medical experts gave a consensus medical opinion, that the injuries had been suffered while the child was in the custody of the parents”

      Are the doctors detectives then ?????,

      • Not one doctor appeared in the FIRST CASE MAGISTRATES COURT
        Cleveland Police Criminal charge against Mother ONLY
        2 Cleveland Police Officers
        Mother found INNOCENT

    • The case name covered up the medical facts still with-held in Rs medical file by SCH now James Cook UH, diagnosis Right Frontal Cerebral Atrophy, A Mr Strachan Neuro Consultant, first contact specialist at A&E (E for Emergency) that we had to sit and wait for, for close to 1 hr, hardly what one would expect or accept IF an 8week old baby had suffered over a 4ft fall onto a heavy tiled kitchen floor, without a mark or bruise, sent to a second hospital (late at night) for MRI Scan, better scan to confirm Cerebral Atrophy discharged 48 hrs later (still no MRI Scan taken)

  18. They are expert witnesses asked to give their professional opinions as to the nature and timing of the injuries suffered by the child. The consensus opinion placed the timing of the injuries at a point when the child was in the custody of the parents.

    Quoted in the appeal court judgment

    “R had two skull fractures situated on the left and right side of the skull. One is fresh and compatible with the injury taking place on the day of admission, the other is older and cannot be dated. The older haemorrhage . . . had been present for at least seven days and could be older. The fresh haemorrhage associated with the left parietal fracture could have occurred on the 4th September or within a few days prior thereto. The old subdural haemorrhages were likely to be the outcome of a vigorous shaking incident…..
    The old fracture . . . is the outcome of an impact injury. That is to say the head striking or being struck by an object. The new fracture is the outcome of an impact injury and is compatible with a fall, as described by the parents, relating to the 4th September.”

    • I have possession of ONE of these SUPPOSED 8 man doctors agreed reports given to me by QC Focke, it was sent by FAX to his hotel in Leeds from Mrs Cahill the LA Barrister it is signed by ONE doctor the childs name stated RB NOT THE NAME RBM the false name for my grandson used throughout the case, Never witnessed an 8 man signed doctors report. Not in QC Fockes FILE????

    • These are Family Court Expert Witnesses, They receive large fees., are jointly instructed , and reply to questions agreed by the parties. with a list of documents agreed in court. The LA, supported by the Guardian plays the leading role in the process.

      Since fees are so large they would like more commissionsi, no one will upset the LA.

      If, as it is claimed, previous medical records were not included in the agreed list questions and of documents , then the EW’s will not consider them in their diagnosis and report.

      Expert Witnesses are the biggest problem in the Family Court.

      I have heard parents complaib about this agreed list of documents, whose contents are highly biased against them.

  19. The court repot indicates that seven of the medical experts produced a single agreed report. The appeal was based on Dr Chong not having been available to participate in the conference, however there was nothing to indicate that he disagreed with the conclusions.

    The report you have is presumably the single agreed report the court used in making the decision.

    To quote the reported case:

    As is good practice in Children Act proceedings where there are complicated medical issues, a direction was made for all the experts in the case to meet in an endeavour to arrive at either a consensus, or, alternatively, a narrowing of the issues. The relevant doctors, beyond those whom I have already mentioned, were doctors McCarty, Morell, Brady and Santosh, together with Mr. Strachan, a surgeon. As the judge said at page 30 of his judgment:
    “All the doctors to which I have referred, save for Dr. Chong who was in London and could not be present, met under the auspices of the Guardian Ad Litem on the 24th January, 1997.”
    I then pass over a few sentences and read this:
    “At the end of that meeting there was an agreed report, signed at various times by all the doctors. Dr. Chong was kept informed of what was going on and, as I understand it, agrees with the conclusions.”

    It still escapes me what difference you think the name used makes. There is no dispute about which child the court is considering. Whatever you might wish to call him the actual case concerned the origin of the injuries. The name used to refer to the child has no effect on that matter.

    Was the name used entirely different or was it simply the omission of part of a multi element name?

    • Birth Certified 2 Christian Names Fathers Surname
      Not 1 Christian Name 2 surnames
      I also have a letter stating the hospitals involvement
      They have 1 Medical File in the name of child RJB we do NOT have medical file in the name of RBM we were not party to the case,

      • Unless you are contending that the medical experts didn’t have the medical files of the correct child then there seems to be no possible relevance to the correctness of the decision. Provided that the medical experts had the correct records relating to R then the name used is irrelevant. At no point have you given any reason why the name used for the child matters.

    • This is what is known as a Professionals Meeting, run by the Guardian, to find consensus/ narrow the issues.

      its a standard procedure.

      But the problem is that as a single report must be produced there is pressure to conform.

      Notinmyname should be asked at what stage these experts entered the case, were any the original treating doctors in the hospitals, and who appointed them.

  20. So is the middle name is shown as an element in a double barralled surname or is it something different, for example the mother’s maiden name. In any event it doesn’t seem relevant to the actual issue. It may be somewhat annoying but unless it has some impact on the medical opinion then it doesn’t matter. Correcting minor error in nomenclature is hardly difficult, it is also unimportant. Unless there is some reason to believe that the medical testimony was seriously flawed then the court was correct to find that the parents represented a serious on going danger to the child whatever his name might be.

    The parent’s legal team would have access to the medical testimony prepared for the court, as that was the key element in the case. That is presumably the document sent by the LA barrister, if it were later substantially revised the updated version would have been sent.

  21. Why any discussion whatsover about a childs birth registered name???????????
    There is no confusion within the hospital medical records RJB through out, No evidence of the injuries, or being dropped onto a kitchen floor? only an investigation from his traumatic birth and development problems (head not growing) jerking back of his head, which his family doctor decided Emergency investigation was needed for his safety when handled by strangers,
    Not exactly fair to have to warn strangers when handling him, be careful of his head and back, his head jerks back without warning and we do not know WHY

  22. That claim bears no relationship to what the expert witnesses found, To whit that there was no pre-existing abnormality and that the child had suffered skull fractures in two separate incidents.

    It sounds like you are claiming that there was some kind of pre-existing abnormality due to the birth. It seems highly improbable that the experts would not have ensured that they had access to the records of the birth including any trauma experienced at the time. If there was such an abnormality then that might be relevant.

    The court’s decision was based on the conclusion by the expert witnesses that the child had suffered non-accidental trauma apparently due to being shaken while in the parent’s custody. Unless you have some actual grounds for disputing this then the then the decision seems to have been in the best interests of the child.

    The name used seems to have nothing to do with anything. You have entirely failed to give any reason to think it matters in the slightest. It might be a little annoying but ultimately quite inconsequential.

    • Thankfully we as a family throughout this terrible ordeal, ignored the inconsequential LA accusations, of false injuries, and stayed with Mr Strachans diagnosis Cerebral Atrophy, approached a Charity Child Rescue Foundation (For Brain Damaged Children) they forwarded us with a Child Massaging Video Tape, With the commitment and help of my of carers brother & sister in law, my grandson was massaged 24/7 using buckets of cream prescribed for his eye condition, the difference was amazing, This society were amazing, offering legal help with the wrongful accusations but we were too afraid of R.s removal if the SS found out what we had done?????????????? My grandson and development was first and formost throughout

      • Mr Strachan was one of the expert witnesses who unanimously concluded that the skull fractures were non-accidental injuries suffered at times when the child was in the custody of the parents. Cerebral atrophy is a consequence and a symptom not a diagnosis, it can be a consequence of traumatic brain injury so that diagnosis is hardly incompatible with there having been an assault.

        The allegations of injuries were not inconsequential, they were allegations of very serious non-accidental injuries suffered to an entirely defenceless infant. If true they fully justified removing the child from the parents. Are you seriously claiming that the injuries found by the expert witnesses were not actually present? That seriously defies belief.

    • This assumes the court appointed experts actually saw the original medical files.

      If they were not in the court agreed documents they wouldn’t

      This appears to have originated from a GP referral because of birth and growth problems.

      have you actually been involved in one of these cases in the Family Court?

      • Not ALLOWED, The hospital Trust, were not party to the case, I have a letter from the hospital stating their case as they do not have medical file in child RBM but do have medical records in RJB they were not party to the case and this name is not on the order Permission refused

  23. The CHILD? was an 8 week old, 10lb baby? would have had no chance of survival from a 5 foot fall, onto a ceramic tiled kitchen floor, the whiplash the impact, the fragility, not a bruise, mark, impossible? All fabricated by a Guardian Ad Litem & LA Solicitor advocated only by Family Court Judges, thrown out prior by Magistrates Court

    • The court documents indicate that the injury that led to the admission on 4th September gave no immediate cause for concern. That is it didn’t appear to have caused significant injury. The low mass of a small baby limits the force that a fall can inflict. That kind of fall while potentially serious isn’t especially uncommon.

      From the background case summary in the appeal:

      The initial medical appraisal was that the injuries were not in themselves indicative of any profound concern, and R was swiftly discharged home. However, after his discharge, further medical investigations and further consideration by the specialists at the hospital led to reconsideration, and the case was referred by the South Cleveland Hospital to Great Ormond Street, as a centre of excellence, where the medical evidence was reviewed by Dr. Cling Chong.

      The shift in the medical appraisal led to an expert conclusion that R had suffered non-accidental injury. There was then an intervention by the local authority leading to R’s placement elsewhere, but within the extended family.

      The range of medical evidence was extended during the course of the preparation of the Children Act proceedings. For the parents obtained leave to consult Dr. Livingstone in Leeds and the guardian ad litem obtained leave to consult Dr. San Lozaro in Newcastle. Dr. Livingstone is a consultant paediatric neurologist at the Leeds General Infirmary. Dr. San Lozaro is a consultant paediatrician with the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne.

      Medical report quoted in the appeal:

      “R had two skull fractures situated on the left and right side of the skull. One is fresh and compatible with the injury taking place on the day of admission, the other is older and cannot be dated. The older haemorrhage . . . had been present for at least seven days and could be older. The fresh haemorrhage associated with the left parietal fracture could have occurred on the 4th September or within a few days prior thereto. The old subdural haemorrhages were likely to be the outcome of a vigorous shaking incident…..
      The old fracture . . . is the outcome of an impact injury. That is to say the head striking or being struck by an object. The new fracture is the outcome of an impact injury and is compatible with a fall, as described by the parents, relating to the 4th September.”

      This medical report was on various occasions signed by the seven medical experts including Dr Livingstone appointed by the parents. Dr Chong while not involved directly in producing the report was kept informed and agreed with the conclusions.

      The medical evidence was unanimous in finding that the injuries were non-accidental and suffered on more than one occasion. Provided that the conclusions of the report were correct the court made the correct decision.

      • As Grandparents and parents, we are so grateful for your patience and time spent, allowing our evidence, and the evidence we were up against to be publicly printed, where were you 20yrs ago?or even 2yrs ago?
        03 May 2000 Leeds Court, Redcar & Cleveland LA Judge Cazalat, Application Gagging Order, and enquiry iinto how/where/from whom we Had found all the information from about my grandson, New name, whereabouts, doctor it was within these proceedings, that we were given the permission to Sue, the LA and a declaration by Judge Cazalat that we the family including the mother by name where one of the most honest families to ever have appeared before him before he left the court (also left the judiciary very shortly after
        Then in the state of shock we unwittingly signed a LA gagging Order that we would not take any action until my grandson was 18 Yrs of Age

        The case was erred in Middlesbrough Open Court self representation Judge Matthews deemed No Cause of Action, Well not one that we stated, Every Cause we stated was deemed to be Criminal by Judge Gillian Matthews and that is where we are stuck 2 yrs later?

      • If there was a previous diagnosis of cerebal atrophy and a GP referral on development from that , it was not.

  24. As far as contacting our son/ grandson, How do we approach him with all these acusations
    available on Line, Also do we keep all his medical, birth evidence a secret, still available at the now James Cook UV hospital in his covered-up medical file, due to a court order/case in a fictisouse name, do we pretend he has never had a diagnosis Cerebral Atrophy in his right frontal lobe, knowing that he will have struggled throughout his life to date and never known the reason WHY? Do we not show him the photographs/video of his early life, with parents, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, He is 21yrs old and not driving, whilst his youngest cousin 17yrs 4mths passed his driving test first time, now choosing his first car, the same for Jacks sister 22yrs in her last year of Accountancy in a relation with a professional Footballer, I could go on and on

  25. Unfortunately this type of behavior and not being fully aware of what is going on, is not uncommon with Family Court judges. I am not joking.

    • The Guardian Ad Litem and LA Solicitor are in complete charge of all Family Court Proceedings whatever they request from court staff is typed up and rubber stamped, watched with my own eyes, heard with my own ears, for knowing and objecting I still have a letter from 20yrs ago threatening me with contempt of court for acquiring court documents dealing with my grandsons case?

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