Re Shute [2021] NZFC 8561

Published 13 May 2022

Application for adoption — best interests of child — interim adoption order — Care of Children Act 2004 — Re Tagioalisi [2015] NZFC 2319. Two applicants applied to adopt a young girl (the child). The female applicant was the child's biological mother; the child's biological father had died when she was only nine months old. The male applicant was the mother's new husband. The applicants had raised the child for most of her life and wanted to adopt her to formalise their family unit. However a social worker's report had not recommended the adoption go ahead, citing concerns for the child's identity and loss of ties to her biological father's family. The applicants, and also the child's grandparents, had made efforts to make sure that the child retained a connection to her biological father and his family. The Court found that the applicants were fit and proper people to be parents to the child, but the issue remained as to whether to make orders under the Care of Children Act to ensure contact arrangements once the final adoption order was granted. The Court decided to make an interim adoption order to allow the child's grandparents the chance to participate in court proceedings, before a final order was granted. The Court ordered a case management review for two months' time to allow counsel to assist to file a report. Judgment Date: 23 August 2021. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *