Case Summary: M (A Child: Leave To Oppose Adoption)  EWCA Civ 404 (18 April 2023)
Re M (A Child: Leave to Oppose Adoption)  EWCA Civ 404 - this case was before the Court of Appeal from the Family Court at Leicester. Hearing the matter were LJ Macur, LJ Holroyde, and LJ Jackson. Importantly for local authorities, the Court of Appeal decided that in a case where a placement order has been made, the local authority MUST obtain a transcript of the judgment, unless a written version is handed down or a note of the same agreed and approved. The Court further decided that this applies where a final care order is made, presumably even if no placement order is made or sought
The Court also restated the principles in respect of leave to oppose an adoption application and the two stage test involved. As to the first limb, the Court rejected the need for the change in circumstances to have been unforeseen or unexpected or unforeseeable - see Mostyn J in Prospective Adopters v Single Assessment  EWHC 327 (Fam). As to the second limb, the Court considered Re B-S (Children)(Adoption Order: Leave to Oppose)  EWCA Civ 1146 and found that whilst the prospect of successfully opposing the adoption if leave is granted, is important, it is not a test in itself. The question the Court should ask itself is "Taking account of all the circumstances and giving paramount consideration to the child's lifelong welfare, should the Court revisit the plan for adoption that it approved when making the placement order?"
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