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Re Palmgren [2022] NZFC 3022

Published 22 November 2022

Adoption order — step-parent — Adoption Act 1955, ss 10 & 11 — B v G [2002] 3 NZLR 233 (CA) — United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The two applicants applied for an adoption order in respect of a child. One of the applicants was the child's biological mother and the other applicant was the child's long-term stepfather. The applicants had another child together. The child's biological father had had little to do with the child since she was born and consented to the adoption. A social worker report supported the notion that the applicants were fit and proper persons to care for the child. The Judge noted that typically, step-parent adoptions should be approached with caution, as sometimes a guardianship or other Court order may be an appropriate to facilitate the relationship with the non-biological parent while keeping ties to the other biological parent open. However, each case must be considered on its own facts and merits. In this instance the child, who was now in her teens, saw the step-father as her father figure and he had played a significant part in raising her. The Judge considered it was appropriate and proper to grant the adoption order, and that a final adoption order was justified in the circumstances. Judgment Date: 4 April 2022. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *