This issue of the termination of a parent’s parental responsibility has not been reported on since the 1995 case of Re P (terminating parental responsibility).  In that case Singer J allowed an application to terminate parental responsibility in a case where a father had been sent to prison for causing serious injuries to his child.  The judge found the father to have “forfeited” his parental responsibility.  Indeed in that case, the Court found that if the father had sought his parental responsibility in the first place by way of an application to the Court (whereas in that case the father had acquired his parental responsibility by formal Agreement), that on the merits of the application, the Court would not have granted the application.

In the recent case of CW v SG [2013] a boy (D) was born to the parties in 2004.  In 2009 the respondent father pleaded guilty to sexual offences against two of D’s half-sisters.  He served half of his 48 month sentence, and on his release from prison the applicant mother applied to Court for the termination of his parental responsibility.

In response the father asked the Court for a specific issue order which would require the mother to supply annual reports on D’s progress.

In CW v SG, the judge found that what he called the “magnetic factors” in this case were the child’s emotional needs, the harm he had suffered and the risk of future harm.  Mr Justice Baker concluded that D’s emotional security would be at risk if the father were to continue to have any further involvement in his life.  As a result the Court terminated the father’s parental responsibility and rejected his application for a specific issue order.

 

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