*Re H (care and adoption: assessment of wider family)

Child – Care. A local authority was not absolutely required, or under a duty (by statute or otherwise), to inform or consult members of a child's extended family about the existence of that child or the plans for his adoption, in circumstances where they had not been proposed by the child's parents as potential alternative carers and where the parents (or either of them) specifically did not wish the wider family to be involved. In such circumstances, the court, and/or the authority or adoption agency, could exercise its broad judgment on the facts of each individual case, taking into account all of the circumstances, but attaching primacy to the welfare of the subject child. The Family Court so ruled concerning the authority's application for guidance on whether it should take steps to track down the paternal family members of a five-month-old baby (who was the subject of an interim care order and whose parents had a history of substance misuse and alcohol abuse), to notify them of his existence, with a view to assessing them, notwithstanding the father's objection. The court held that, on the facts, it was in the child's best interests for the wider paternal family to be notified of his existence.

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