The first case

 The first case relates to one mother giving birth to her child, Z, in England. She wanted him adopted here and did not want her family involved. However they were contacted by the authority but were unable to offer him a home; the putative father agreed to his adoption in the UK. The mother gave an advance consent to adoption and after the birth had no contact with Z. The authority recommended that he be placed for adoption and applied for a placement order; prospective adopters were identified. The Estonian authorities were informed and responded that they were happy for Z to be adopted here.


Comment: The jurisdictional rules of Brussels IIa did not apply to decisions on adoption or measures preparatory to adoption. Rather, the jurisdiction to make orders for the placement and adoption of children in England and Wales was wholly derived from statute: the Adoption and Children Act 2002, including Sch 2 para 9 of the Children Act 1989. There was no other jurisdiction to make such orders, either under statute or the inherent jurisdiction. The inherent jurisdiction could supplement the statute but could not be used to make orders which cut across the statutory scheme.


Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 did not apply where a child had been relinquished for adoption because the child, in those circumstances, was not being ‘detained'.

(4)Where parents had given a valid consent for placement for adoption the authority would be “authorized” to place the child for adoption. In such circumstances there was no obligation or power to apply for or make a placement order under s 21 of the 2002 Act. Accordingly there was no jurisdiction to make a placement order in the Z case.