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High Court determines that it is appropriate to grant approval of the adoption of a child without the consulting the biological father in circumstances where there was no parental or filial bond or father-daughter relationship - rather, there was an abusive relationship as a result of which the child was afraid of her biological father.
Adoption – family law – application for approval of the making of an Order for the adoption of a child without consulting the natural father – in the circumstances inappropriate for the Authority to consult the natural father – relationship between the birth parents ended – mother entered into a new relationship – step-father applied to adopt the child – mother consented - declaration of eligibility and suitability of the step father – birth father assaulted the mother on may occasions - abuse escalated following the birth of the child - obtained a three-year barring Order - natural father was appointed a joint guardian of the child - child did not enjoy access – child was scared of her father – mother and child assaulted during supervised access visit – convicted of assault – order was made dispensing with the natural father’s consent to the issuing of a passport for the child following his refusal to consent to it - father was removed as a guardian of the child – step father made a joint guardian - natural father was deported from Ireland - court must adopt a cautious approach to applications such as this - no parental or filial bond, no father-daughter relationship was formed between them both, rather a situation was arrived at whereby this young girl was afraid of the man who was her biological father – abusive relationship - independent corroboration - factors considered by the court - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - family life as such does not exist and did not exist in a way in which would engage Article 8 rights in favour of the father - best interests of the child - entirely inappropriate for the Authority to consult with the father in the circumstances - appropriate to grant the approval of the adoption.
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