H v An Adoption Agency (Declaration of Parentage following Adoption)  EWFC 74
21 December 2020
The child in question (T) became the subject of care and placement proceedings in 2015. Mr H was not named on the birth certificate but a paternity test confirmed that he was T’s father and he was therefore joined to the care proceedings. Mr H was refused permission to appeal placement orders made in April 2016 and adoption orders made in April 2017. Mr H then applied for declaration of parentage, aiming to secure an amendment to the original birth certificate.
MacDonald J was satisfied that the court has a jurisdiction, pursuant to s.55A(1) of the Family Law Act 1986, to grant to a birth parent a declaration of parentage following the lawful adoption of a child. He concluded that it was possible to read “any person” to include a birth parent in the position of Mr H whose child was subject to an adoption order (s.46 Adoption and Children Act 2002). Macdonald J was further satisfied that s.55A(5) FLA 19896 allowed the court to refuse to hear a preliminary issue on the grounds it is not in the child’s best interest for the application to be determined . In this instance, the adoptive parents thought it important that the child know her full life story and they had no objections to Mr H’s name on the birth certificate. Therefore, MacDonald J declined to refuse to hear the application and listed that for a final hearing.