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Consequences of Case Law Following the Court of Appeal Decision in Re A (A Child) [2009] EWCA 41

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Welsh Government Guidance on the use of paragraph 19(1) in Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989 in placing a child with relatives abroad prior to adoption.

This Guidance follows the Court of Appeal decision in Re A (A Child) [2009] EWCA Civ 41 which held that the requirement under section 84(4) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (‘the 2002 Act’) for the child to have his or her home with the prospective adopters for 10 weeks before the court can make an order for parental responsibility under section 84(1) of that Act, could be partly or fully fulfilled by time spent with the prospective adopters in their home abroad.

This Guidance is to support a local authority planning to place a child who is subject to an interim care order or a final care order with relatives - or, in certain circumstances, other persons who are closely connected to the child (see paragraph 9 below) who are being considered as potential adopters, but where no decision has been made by the authority to place the child for adoption with those relatives. The Guidance deals specifically with applications to the court under paragraph 19(1) of Schedule 2 to the 1989 Act (‘a paragraph 19(1) application’) for approval to place a child in care with relatives abroad under a fostering arrangement prior to a possible adoption.  It outlines the steps and issues local authorities need to consider before making such an application.