Heartbroken grand­par­ents lose ap­peal in cus­tody fight

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - REMEMBER WHEN? - by Kirsty Parkin

Grand­par­ents lose baby cus­tody bat­tle

A COU­PLE who have lost the fight for cus­tody of their baby grand­daugh­ter at the Court of Ap­peal in Lon­don, fear they will never see her again.

The grand­par­ents, who can­not be iden­ti­fied for le­gal rea­sons, but live in the Ash­ford area, sought cus­tody of the child and had been as­sessed to see whether they would be suit­able adopters.

They were turned down and then asked to be as­sessed for “spe­cial guardian­ship,” a new le­gal op­tion pro­vid­ing a per­ma­nent home for chil­dren where adop­tion is not ap­pro­pri­ate.

Their re­quest was re­fused at Can­ter­bury County Court last July.

They took their case to the Court of Ap­peal where Lord Jus­tice Thorpe said he be­lieved the county court judge had been wrong to refuse their re­quest.

He said the judge had not had re­cent guid­ance on the cir­cum­stances of spe­cial guardian­ship.

How­ever, he said that to in­ter­fere in the child’s life now would do more harm than good.

This week, as their grand­daugh­ter’s adop­tion is made of­fi­cial, they wait to hear whether they will have any con­tact at all.

The wo­man said: “We were told we wouldn’t be able to help with com­puter home­work and that older par­ents can feel iso­lated. That’s not us.

“Age shouldn’t be a bar­rier to adop­tion.

“It is heart­break­ing and has ru­ined our lives. Where are the rights of the grand­par­ents?”

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