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Supreme Court of Denmark

Adoption without consent 
18-02-2019 

Case no. 106/2018
 

Judgment delivered on 18 February 2019

 
A and B
vs.
The State Administration


The State Administration’s decisions to release a child for adoption and then to grant adoption to a foster family were valid

The case concerned whether the State Administration’s decisions to release a child for adoption and subsequently to grant adoption should be annulled.

The child had been forcibly removed from its biological parents after birth in April 2012 and placed with a foster family. In connection with the placement, the local authorities recommended that the child be put up for adoption, which the National Social Appeals Board refused to give its consent to, as it had not been proven that the parents would not be able to play a positive role for the child in connection with contact. The child was placed in foster care, and arrangements were made for contact between the child and the biological parents for about an hour a month. Following a new recommendation from the local authorities, in November 2016, the National Social Appeals Board decided to give its consent to the foster parents’ adoption of the child without the biological parents’ consent. Accordingly, the State Administration decided to release the child for adoption in March 2017, and in January 2018, a grant for adoption was issued to the foster parents, after which the contact between the child and the biological parents ceased.

The Supreme Court found no basis for allowing the parents’ principal claim for annulment on the grounds that the National Social Appeals Board had refused to give its consent to adoption in 2012.

The Supreme Court found that the child’s connection with the foster family is of such a nature that it will be detrimental to the child to break this connection, particularly considering the continuity and stability of the child’s upbringing. The conditions for adoption without consent stipulated in the Danish Adoption Act had thus been met. In this connection, the Supreme Court noted that the biological parents had had contact with the child until adoption was granted with the support of the local authorities, but that they had not applied for contact after that time. In addition, the adoption was in compliance with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Disability Convention.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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