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Adoption row father faces jail threat for identifying children on Facebook

Published 08/06/2016

A High Court judge has given the father time to answer allegations that he breached court orders obtained by the London Borough of Haringey
A High Court judge has given the father time to answer allegations that he breached court orders obtained by the London Borough of Haringey

A father embroiled in an adoption row is facing a jail threat for revealing the identities of his children on the internet, including Facebook.

A High Court family judge has given the father time to answer allegations that he breached court orders obtained by the London Borough of Haringey.

Mr Justice Bodey, sitting in London, warned parents against posting details about family cases on social media in the hope that it will help them "when frequently it does the opposite".

The father, whom the judge said should not be named, claims his children are being forcibly adopted without consideration being given to the fact they are citizens of another country.

Haringey Council barrister Sarah Nuttall applied to the judge to have the father committed to prison for breaches of multiple court orders.

Ms Nuttall said care proceedings involving the man's two children, both aged under 10, concluded some time ago and they had been placed with prospective adopters.

Court orders were applied for after he and third parties started posting material on the internet which was "clearly very harmful both for the prospective adopters and the children".

Ms Nuttall said: "Unfortunately they have continued to post material in breach of the orders."

She added that the material identified the children by name and included their photographs, as well as the names and addresses and photographs of people said to be their proposed adopters.

The father had been on hunger strike in Strasbourg in France but stopped on medical advice. A court order had been made allowing his passport to be seized when he returned to the UK.

Haringey Council made an urgent application requesting Facebook to remove material, said Ms Nuttall.

Indu Kumar, appearing for the father, applied for the committal application to be adjourned and said items were being posted on Facebook which were outside his control - "because people are outraged by what is going on".

Ordering the committal application to be "stood out", or adjourned, the judge said the father had not had sufficient time to answer the allegations.

The judge said: "His liberty is at stake and the procedural checks and balances have to be correct."

He ruled the case should come back before the court later in June if both sides could not reach an agreement.

He ordered that the ban on the children being identified on social media websites should be continued, saying it was "very undesirable" that they faced public identification "because the courts make a decision they say is in the best interests of the children".

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