Conflicting Rights: English Adoption Law and the Implementation of the UNCRC
University of Cambridge - Robinson College, Cambridge; University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law
May 16, 2011
 Child & Family Law Quarterly 40
University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 30/2011
The welfare of the relevant child became the ‘paramount’ consideration in adoption decisions as a result of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. This ostensibly brought English Law into line with Article 21 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires states inter alia to ‘ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration’ in the context of adoption. This article considers the scheme of the 2002 Act and conducts a survey of the domestic adoption case law under it in the light of some of the requirements of the UNCRC, with particular reference to the implications of the Act for the child’s relationship with his birth family. It argues that the judiciary’s approach to the Act is not necessarily compatible with certain other provisions of the Convention.
The full text of this paper is now available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2245625. It was cited by the UK Supreme Court in In the matter of B (a child)  UKSC 33.
Keywords: Adoption, Adoption Act, Adoption and Children Act, UNCRC, UN, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
JEL Classification: K36, K33
Date posted: May 29, 2011 ; Last revised: June 14, 2013