Father’s appeal against daughter’s adoption fails

Published on Mon Sep 13 09:01:54 BST 2010

A MAN has failed in his appeal against Peterborough City Council’s decision to put his daughter up for adoption.

The Civil Appeal Court in London ruled that the council’s adoption order was valid despite objections by the child’s father.

The man, who is in his 20s but cannot be named, has a history of violence against the girl’s mother and his daughter was placed in foster care immediately after her birth due to social workers’ concerns about both her parents.

Peterborough County Court upheld the council’s adoption plan for his daughter in May.

At the appeal court hearing, Lord Justice Wilson accepted there were flaws in the county court ruling but rejected the father’s appeal as standing no real prospect of success.

He said: “There was so little to be put into the scales on the father’s side and so much to be put into the scales on the side of adoption, that the exercise hardly needed to be spelt out at length.”

The court heard that the man had pinned the mother against a wall in a fit of anger when she was heavily pregnant.

The judge added that “grave concerns” had developed among social workers about his parenting skills despite his “personable appearance”.

He was also convicted of other common assaults in 2007 and 2008 and was said to be “disarmingly honest” about his limitations even openly admitting that he is a “violent man”.

But his lawyers argued that he has no history of harming his child and was adamant that he loved his daughter and would never do anything to harm her.

They claimed the ruling violated his and his daughter’s rights to respect for their family life under Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Since the adoption plan was first upheld in May, the man has attempted to prove himself capable of raising his daughter when seeing her during regular contact sessions.

The council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Sheila Scott said she is adamant that any decision the council makes is always in the best interest of the child.

Cllr Scott said: “My department will always act in the best interests of the child.

“That is clearly the number one priority to us.

“The council is responsible for making these difficult decisions, but we do not act independently.

“The courts are involved as well and the decisions are not made entirely on our own.

“It is also extremely important to say that we do not take decisions lightly.”