Supporting a step-father through contested adoption

Sophie represented a step-father in a rather unusual application for adoption. The child had resided with the mother and step-father for a period of eleven years, following allegations and subsequent conviction of the biological father for cruelty against the child.

The adoption application was strongly opposed by the biological father, who appeared in person. Throughout proceedings, Sophie’s tactful and diplomatic approach enabled her to manage the acrimony between the parties, which was understandably heightened during hearings. Sophie was particularly sensitive to the difficult situation and made tactical judgments on calling live evidence.

After a final hearing, an adoption order was made in favour of Sophie’s client, with both the step -father and mother being thrilled with the outcome.