Council in ‘new names’ bid to hide adopted siblings from jailed parents
18:09 03 April 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Haringey Council has appealed to a High Court judge to give new identities to two children waiting to be adopted to protect them from being “tracked down” by their jailed parents.
The local authority has taken the highly unusual step of requesting permission to change the forenames and surnames of the youngsters - aged two and three - following concerns raised by social workers.
High Court judge Mr Justice Holman said their names had gained “notoriety” following an internet campaign by their parents who are serving jail terms for child ill-treatment.
He explained the application raised “considerable issues” relating to “identity and self-esteem” and would need “very careful consideration”.
Mr Justice Holman said: “The local authority, and maybe also the prospective adopters, are fearful that unless the two youngest children are given completely new identities with completely new names, they will be tracked down and the placement potentially destabilised.
“That, of course, is a very serious and worrying aspect of this case.
“On the other hand, whilst change of surname is virtually automatic upon adoption, change of forenames is relatively unusual.”
The details of the case have emerged following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London today.
The siblings, who have not been named, were the youngest members of a group of seven brothers and sisters taken from the care of their parents.
The eldest five are in foster homes and the youngest have been placed together with an adoptive family.
Their parents are not entitled to have any contact with them. Another hearing is due to take place in the near future.