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In a dramatic example of the courts backing individuals against officialdom, a family judge has slammed a local authority’s social workers for their ‘visible bias’ in seeking to prevent grandparents from adopting their own grandson following his mother’s tragic death.
Both sets of the three-year-old boy’s grandparents had put themselves forward as carers. However, the local authority was adamant that his welfare demanded that he be adopted outside his natural family. It was argued that, for various reasons, both couples were unsuitable to be considered as adopters.
However, the judge found that social workers had lost objectivity in focusing on the weaknesses in the grandparents’ arguments. He ordered that the boy be placed for adoption with one set of grandparents and that the other should also continue to play a role in his life as providers of respite care.
He said of social workers involved in the case, “Their concerns appeared to be grossly overstated in order to try and achieve their ends…I have never, in over 10 years of hearing care cases, taken the view, as I did in this case, that the local authority’s witnesses were visibly biased in their attempts to support the local authority’s case. It is very unfortunate and I hope I shall never see that again.”