Re N (A Child) [2016] EWHC 3085 (Fam)

Deirdre Fottrell QC and Gemma Kelly represented the child in an application before the President for recognition of her adoption in India and an adoption order under the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

The President offers guidance to Judges and practitioners for future cases in order to resolve confusion which has arisen in recent decisions about the correct legal principles which are to be applied to recognition of religious adoptions.  

In his judgment, the President scrutinises the case-law regarding recognition of foreign adoptions and finds that the principles derived from the original case of Re Valentine’s settlement have been reinterpreted in recent judgments “in a manner which has not always commanded universal judicial assent”. He confirms that the four criteria set out in Re Valentine’s settlement remain the only criteria to be applied.  He then endorses MacDonald J’s analysis and conclusions in QS v RS and another [2016] EWHC 2470 (Fam): a strict application of the criteria can, in only very particular circumstances (such as in QR v RS), amount to a breach of Article 8 rights. If so, a decision compatible with those rights has to be reached.

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