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D v E (termination of parental responsibility) [2021] EWFC 37

Application by the mother to terminate the father’s parental responsibility pursuant to s 4 (2A) of the Children Act 1989 granted. Permission also given to change the child’s surname

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G, a girl, was born in 2012.  Her father (F) was named on the birth certificate.  G's parents separated in 2014 and in subsequent proceedings finalised in 2014, a child arrangements order was made providing for F to have contact progressing to staying contact.  F had a significant offending history and in 2015, mother (M) terminated contact on advice from police and the LA because F was being investigated for sexual offences against a child.  F was subsequently convicted of offences of causing or inciting a female child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual acts and of further breaches of sexual harm prevention orders.  F had no subsequent relationship with G.

M subsequently applied for a child arrangements order that effectively terminated all contact with F, a specific issue order to change G's surname and an application to terminate F's PR.  The child's guardian applied for an order pursuant to s 91 (14).

The court considered the law in relation to all of these applications in the course of the judgment and was satisfied that it was in G's best interests to make the orders sought.  The court considered it significant that G had no relationship with, and no recollection of her father.  The court was satisfied that father continued to pose a risk of serious harm to G which was likely to increase as she reached adolescence. 

Case summary by Martina van der Leij, Barrister, Field Court Chambers

For full case, please see BAILII