A judge has delayed a decision on whether to block direct contact between two groups of siblings so that the children’s views can be represented.
Haringey LBC had applied to end direct contact between the five oldest children and the two youngest to protect their identities being revealed to their parents, who are serving prison sentences for the ill treatment of some or all of them.
In the Royal Courts of Justice, a judgement from Mr Justice Holman read: ‘This is patently an application of very considerable difficulty with a number of obviously conflicting considerations which requires and deserves much more profound judicial consideration than can be given in the space of a single day.
‘Although the local authority, perhaps very understandably, seeks to drive through these adoptions without any provision for contact, there is clearly room for a strong alternative view.
‘Realistically that can only be fully explored and advocated in this case by an independent guardian acting for the two youngest children.
‘I am frankly astonished that this application reached the stage of being listed for final hearing today (and my impression is that the local authority arrived confidently expecting that it would be finally resolved today) without consideration being given to the patent need for the five eldest children to be separately represented, not only separately from the local authority but separately also from the two youngest children, for there may well be conflict between the best interests, viewed in the round, of the five on the one hand and of the two on the other hand.’