Rare application for care by an older sibling

Children – Public Law

29 November 2023

Marie represented an older sibling in a rare application to discharge a care and placement order by an adult sibling, in a case where the natural Mother had sadly and unexpectedly died. The child (a young baby) had been made subject to a final care order and placed for adoption a few months earlier.

Marie’s client was the older sibling who put herself forward to be assessed as a permanent carer for her baby sister. Unfortunately this assessment by an Independent Social Worker was negative in respect of her being placed with Marie’s client as opposed to being adopted. However, it was proposed that the adoption should be an ‘open adoption’, so that Marie’s client could continue to see her sister and maintain a relationship with her.

Marie’s client accepted this conclusion after the court made it clear that it would follow that recommendation and would not place the baby in her care, but that she would be able to maintain her sibling relationship via direct contact. She accepted the conclusion she could not care full time for her baby sister but was happy that she was able to maintain her links to her via an open adoption.

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