Client’s foreign adoption recognised by English family court

N (A Child), Re [2016] EWHC 3085 (Fam)

Sheila Donn, joint head of our family department, was recently instructed by Child N in an application before the President of the Family Division. The application asked the court to recognise Child N’s Indian adoption and for an English adoption order to be made under the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

In his judgment the President gave guidance for future cases on the correct legal principles which are to be applied when recognising religious adoptions. He hoped this guidance would help avoid the confusion surrounding previous decisions in similar cases.

The President scrutinised the case-law regarding recognition of foreign adoptions and pointed out that the principles derived from the original case of Re Valentine’s settlement have been reinterpreted in recent judgments “in a manner which has not always commanded universal judicial assent”. He confirmed the criteria set out in Re Valentine’s is and remains the only criteria to be applied.

The President found Child N’s Indian adoption complied with Re Valentine’s and should therefore be recognised in English law.

The full judgment can be read here:

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