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Couple to have adopted boy's removal re-examined after appeal ruling

Published 20/01/2016

Two Court of Appeal judges said the boy's future should be re-analysed at a fresh family court hearing
Two Court of Appeal judges said the boy's future should be re-analysed at a fresh family court hearing

A couple who adopted a child and then had him taken away after social workers raised concerns about their parenting style are to have their case re-examined in the wake of a ruling by senior judges.

The couple complained after a judge ruled that the boy, now 10, should be placed into foster care following a family court hearing in Cambridge.

Now two Court of Appeal judges have decided that the boy's future should be re-analysed at a fresh family court hearing.

Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Simon upheld a challenge by the couple after analysing the case at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

The two appeal judges, who ruled that the youngster cannot be identified, said they will give detailed reasons for their decision at a later date.

They heard that the boy started living with the couple more than five years ago - after being "traumatised".

The couple adopted him in the summer of 2013 - after being assessed by social services staff.

But less than a year after the adoption, social services bosses launched care proceedings and the boy was taken from the couple.

Social workers said the boy was vulnerable and raised concerns about the couple smacking, shouting at and "physically restraining" him.

They said the couple's "parenting style" was "re-traumatising" the boy - and that the couple had failed to provide the "high level of nurturing" he needed.

But the couple complained that social workers had been "inconsistent and arbitrary".

And barrister Paul Diamond, who represented the couple at the appeal hearing, argued that Judge Michael Yelton had wrongly allowed the "factor of adoption" to influence his assessment when considering the case at the Cambridge hearing.

The couple are being backed by campaign group Christian Concern - and its sister organisation the Christian Legal Centre - in their fight to regain the boy.

Andrea Williams, the Christian Legal Centre's chief executive, said: "The couple were treated as if they were not the 'real' parents."

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