In a recent ruling, the Court gave a woman permission to look at the court files on her late father’s adoption so that she could identify her grandmother. Sandra Meakins, a partner specialising in family law at Kidd Rapinet’s Farnham office said, “The Family Division’s ruling is ground breaking and sets a precedent for future cases to reveal family secrets”.
The judgment will allow the woman to explore her ancestry – an inquiry previously blocked by an adoption order dating back to 1930. It was based on the fact that the grandmother, adoptive parents and father in the case were all known or assumed to be dead.
No legal authority existed to determine whether the woman should be allowed to see the file. The adoption file, which had been closed, contained the name and address of the grandmother, a signed consent form and the father’s birth certificate. It was possible that the child was born outside marriage and adopted to avoid what might at the time have been considered a social disgrace.
Whilst it was accepted that the general principle of maintaining the confidentiality of such papers should be upheld, it was decided in this case that it was in the greater interest that the information should be made available to the applicant.
If you would like assistance in relation to an adoption matter, call Sandra Meakins at Kidd Rapinet on 01252 713242 for further information.