Conflicting Rights: English Adoption Law and the Implementation of the UNCRC

Posted: 29 May 2011 Last revised: 14 Jun 2013

Brian Sloan

University of Cambridge - Robinson College, Cambridge; University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 16, 2011

Abstract

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) [2013] 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

Suggested Citation

Sloan, Brian, Conflicting Rights: English Adoption Law and the Implementation of the UNCRC (May 16, 2011). [2013] Child & Family Law Quarterly 40; University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 30/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1853385 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1853385

Brian Sloan (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Robinson College, Cambridge ( email )

Grange Road
Cambridge, CB3 9AN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.robinson.cam.ac.uk/fellows/brian-sloan

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.cam.ac.uk/people/academic/bd-sloan/409

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