High Court judge approves foster family's adoption of brothers despite mother's opposition

High Court Judge Approves Foster Family's Adoption Of Brothers Despite Mother's Opposition
Ms Justice Nuala Jackson said it is clear the brothers have achieved a “clear sense of stability” with their foster parents.
Share this article

High Court reporters

The High Court has approved the adoption of two teenagers by their foster carers despite their mother making “considerable strides” in rescuing herself from previous adverse circumstances.

Ms Justice Nuala Jackson said it is clear the brothers have achieved a “clear sense of stability” with their foster parents, with whom they have lived for more than a decade.


They wanted to be adopted into their “de facto family” and not to have contact with their mother, the judge said.

She added that she believed their views were grounded upon a desire for stability and legal recognition, finding that adoption was in their best interests.

The application was supported by the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, but opposed by their birth mother.

She did not dispute that her children were taken into care at a time when she was “dependent upon alcohol” and “unable” to care for them on particular occasions.


The mother, who has had contact with her children just once since 2015, argued that adoption orders would be disproportionate and pointed to other legal remedies.

The judge said she has faced very considerable challenges relating to alcohol abuse and threats of self-harm.

The father of one of the boys initially said he would oppose his son’s adoption, but later consented to the order, indicating he would be guided by the judge’s conversations with the boy, Ms Justice Jackson said.

The man was not aware he had a son before the boy went into care, but upon discovering his paternity, has embraced a relationship with him, was appointed a guardian, and has regular access.


He has experienced considerable trauma, addiction, homelessness and bereavement, the judge said.


There is “no doubt” both of the birth parents have made “admirable and considerable strides” in re-establishing their lives, Ms Justice Jackson said.

However, the reality is that the boys’ lives have moved on, and they wanted to be integrated into “what has now been their family unit for many years”, she said.

The birth parents alleged breaches of duty on the part of Tusla relating to support and fostering the children’s origin and identity, but they acknowledged the children had resisted some access.


They feared the views of the children were being influenced by third parties, the court heard.

Tusla submitted that the adoptive parents encourage the boys’ awareness of their origins and identities.

Ms Justice Jackson concluded that the children had formed their own views, adding that she was struck by a comment from the older teen, who said he wanted to be “officially” part of his de facto family in which he feels “like a normal kid”.

“I get to experience life the way every child should. In this family, I feel safe, loved, thought of, cared, wanted, protected,” he said.

The judge said that for various reasons, the birth parents have been “unable to discharge parental rights” for a very significant portion of the boys’ lives. She determined they are unable to care for the children in a way that would not prejudicially affect their safety and welfare.

She asked the adoptive parents to agree to support the wishes of the children regarding contact with their birth parents and learning about their families of origin.

The statutory requirements were met for her to be satisfied she should make orders for the adoption of both of the boys.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com