*Re P (a child) (adoption: adoption by step-parent)

Adoption – Application. The applicant de-facto step-father, who was in a close personal relationship with the mother, applied to the court to adopt her two children. Each child had a different father. The trial judge refused the application and the father appealed. The Court of Appeal (Civil Division) allowed the appeal and held that the judge had fallen into substantial error in his evaluation of the balance of rights under art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and, hence, the overall proportionality of making adoption orders. In addition the judge appeared to have misinterpreted the statutory regime under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and the requirements that it had placed upon him.

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