Defeating a Local Authority’s plan for adoption

Edward represented a first-time Father in care proceedings concerning a new-born baby. The mother of the child had a number of very serious convictions relating to her other children, and the baby had been placed in foster care at a few days old, before leaving hospital.

The Father had profound learning difficulties, but sought to care for his child. There were no other prospective carers, and the Local Authority sought care orders with a plan for adoption.

The Local Authority argued that Father’s learning disabilities were such that he could not adequately parent the child, and presented a risk of significant harm and they could not offer sufficient support.

Throughout proceedings, the case demanded the Edward’s expert representation of a vulnerable client with heightened needs who was faced with the prospect of his child being adopted. At the three-day Final Hearing, the Judge ordered that the child be placed in Father’s care under a 12-month supervision order. The case concluded with lengthy negotiations concerning the appropriate support that could be offered to the Father.