What does the Family Court look at when deciding whether to make an adoption order?
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The Family Court:
- Should not make an adoption order unless it is satisfied that there is no other suitable plan which meets the needs of the child and nothing else other than adoption will do
- Can only make an adoption order if either:
- The parents both consent (agree) to this, or
- The court is satisfied it is in the child’s best interests to dispense with the need for parents’ consent and to go on and make the order
- Must have as its paramount consideration the child’s welfare throughout their life – known as the welfare principle. Or the paramountcy principle (see section 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002)
Must also think about whether it should make an order setting out any arrangement for the child to keep in touch with members of the family. Or with others who are important to them (see section 46 (6) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002).