Re L (A Child: Step-Parent Adoption) – Family Law Week case summary

11 June 2021

A father’s unsuccessful attempt to appeal against an adoption order in favour of the child’s step-father.

An appeal by a father against an adoption order relating to the adoption of an 11-year-old boy 'L' by his mother's partner. The mother and child's guardian had consented to the order, but the father (with parental responsibility) had opposed.

The issue for the Court of Appeal was whether the order should be set aside as the judge had not been referred to or considered the leading domestic case on step-parent adoptions (Re P (a Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1174).

After a casual, non-exclusive relationship, the mother fell pregnant with L. The mother did not tell the father she was pregnant with his child. L was initially brought up believing the mother's then partner, Mr B, was his father. When L was about 3 years old, the father discovered from a DNA test that L was his son. The father successfully applied for a child arrangements order so that he could spend time with L. Contact did not run smoothly. The mother and Mr B separated. Due to his behaviour towards the mother, the father was made subject of a community order following criminal proceedings.

Read the full summary on Family Law Week.