|[Home] [Databases] [World Law] [Multidatabase Search] [Help] [Feedback]|
England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions >> W v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1733 (Fam) (07 July 2017)
Cite as:  3 FCR 694,  EWHC 1733 (Fam),  1 FLR 1192
[New search] [Context] [View without highlighting] [Printable RTF version] [Help]
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| Mr and Mrs W
|- and -
|The Secretary of State for the Home Department
Claire van Overdijk (instructed by Government Legal Department) for the Intervenor
Hearing date: 26 June 2017
Crown Copyright ©
Mrs Justice Pauffley :
The criteria – N (A Child), Re  EWHC 3085
i) The adoptive parents must have been domiciled in the foreign country at the time of the foreign adoption;
ii) The child must have been legally adopted in accordance with the requirements of the foreign law;
iii) The foreign adoption must in substance have the same essential characteristics as an English adoption. … Did the concept of adoption in the foreign jurisdiction substantially conform with the English concept of adoption?;
iv) There must be no reason in public policy for refusing recognition.
1. Domicile in the foreign country at the time of the adoption
2. Legal adoption in accordance with the requirements of foreign law
- Under Nigerian Law an adoption order severs all legal links between the child and (his) birth family;
- Under Nigerian Law and adoption order can be set aside in cases of fraud or where the order is a nullity due to a fundamental defect which goes to the jurisdiction of the court;
- The adoption order is an order of a competent court in Nigeria and remains a valid order unless and until it is set aside;
- On any consideration by the Court in [X] State as to whether the adoption order should be set aside, the court will consider all the circumstances and have regard to s. 128 of the Child Rights Law of [X] State. The child's best interests being the primary consideration for the court;
- The Applicants in this case did not satisfy one of the requirements of s. 128 of the Child Rights Law of [X] State in that neither of them had the care of the child for a period of at least 3 consecutive months preceding the date of the order;
- The information on the court files contained evidence that the Applicants were temporarily abroad which explains why the court ordered that post adoption supervision could take place in [X] State or abroad.
(a) The Applicants' residence and address in the UK was known to the Court and supervising probation officer; and their Nigerian address was identified and known to be the address of Mrs W's sister, Dr O. This information appears in Mrs W's letter to the Ministry asking to be considered as an adoptive parent; her 'Application to adopt a child;' and in the Applicants' UK residence permits which were in evidence before the Court.
(b) Mrs M was the probation officer with specific responsibility for V's adoption. Her undated, post-adoption social enquiry report accurately records the relevant information concerning the pre-adoption care which the Applicants provided to V. This report was not before the Court, but is relevant as showing that Mrs M knew of and had approved V's living arrangements.
(c) Mrs M attended at and approved Dr O's home as a suitable placement for then 2 day old V and released him into her care on 4.5.2015. She noted her reasons for approving this placement – Mrs W had given her permission for this arrangement; Dr O's medical qualification meant that V would be better cared for in a family rather than an orphanage setting.
(d) Mrs M's report records the correct dates for Mrs W's visits; that when visiting on 20.7.2015 she noted how healthy V was, that he was 'getting used to' Mrs W and she had no doubts that V was in safe hands; and in her visits on 19.12.2015 and 11.1.2016 noted 'proper bonding' between Mrs W and V. Consistent with the intended recipient of this post-adoption report (the Entry Clearance Officer) Mrs M records that the Applicants need approval to have V join them and to be 'fully integrated into a family unit.'
3. The same essential characteristics as an English adoption
4. There must be no public policy reason for refusing recognition
Recognition at common law