Amelia Thompson
MSB Solicitors Liverpool
Amelia Thompson

Successfully Opposed Adoption Where Issues Of Drug Abuse & Mental Health Issues:
Amelia Thompson represented a mother of two young children, 4 and 5. The children had a strong attachment to their mother and a warm, loving relationship, despite her difficulties. She had  a history of cannabis use, psychosis and paranoid schizophrenia. She remained unwell throughout the proceedings and was unable to refrain from cannabis use. The client was extremely mentally fragile and required a great deal of client care and a number of visits were undertaken in the secure unit at times when she had been sectioned. The children’s father is from Ghana and although the parents were separated, they remained on good terms. The local authority proposed adoption for the boys, which was strongly opposed by ourselves on mother’s behalf and also those representing the father. Mother was understandably distressed at the prospect of no longer having regular contact with the children.

 We were able to persuade the local authority  that adoption was not in the best interests of the children, as they had close attachments to their parents,  father may be a viable option as their long term carer and they should have continuing contact with their mother to maintain their relationship.

 Following the parents’ evidence, the Judge agreed  that the father should be given the opportunity to be assessed further in this country, with a view to the children living with him in Ghana but mother having regular contact during the school holidays, which father agreed to fund.  The mother was supportive of the father and was extremely pleased with the outcome for the boys, as she acknowledged that she was not currently well enough to care for them but they would remain with family.

Complexed Case Involving Numerous Children, Unborn Child, Issues of Alcohol, Drugs, Mental Health & Domestic Violence:
Amelia represented a mother who had transferred from another solicitors who she felt were not presenting her case strongly enough. The mother had 4 children, the older three were living with their father and the youngest was living with her and her new partner, that child’s father. Historically, she had suffered with  an alcohol and drug misuse issue and continued to suffer with mental health problems. She was a vulnerable woman, who required a great deal of support throughout the proceedings.  She was also pregnant with her 5thchild. There were difficulties  maintaining contact with the three older children, as mother had suffered domestic violence at the hands of their father and remained fearful of him.

 Care proceedings had been taken in regard to the youngest child, who was removed from his parents’ care, following  allegations by a family member that mother and her partner had serious drug problems and had been taking illicit photographs of one of the older children. There was a police investigation and a significant amount of electronic communication, medical and psychological evidence.

Throughout the proceedings the mother raised a number of concerns about the father of the three older children, in particular in regards to him grooming her from a young age, alcohol and drug misuse. Although the local authority were reluctant to take on board mother’s allegations, we were able to persuade the Court that a  S37 investigation should be carried out. The report produced was very poor and was clearly biased toward the father’s account of his care of the children. They were also considering  terminating mother’s contact.  

Evidence was gathered by those representing the mother and as a result of that and robust cross examination of the father, during a hearing in the High Court,  a further investigation by the local authority was ordered and  the children were made subject to interim Supervision orders, with the Court giving strong indications to the local authority that they should issue a public law application.  This was important to the mother as she felt that her concerns had been taken seriously and she was still able to maintain a relationship with her children.

 Although some  findings were made against the mother, she was able to continue to have contact and maintain an ongoing relationship with her children.

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