The High Court has recognised a Brazilian adoption in a case that could allow more couples to have adoptions recognised abroad made legal in the UK, reports familylawweek.co.uk
The case concerned a Brazilian-born woman, known in the case only as Z. Z moved to the UK in 1995 and married a UK citizen in 2001. In 2002 she successfully applied for permanent resident status.
Following her marriage, and due to an inability for her and her husband to conceive children, they decided to adopt. To retain links with Mrs Z's home nation, they chose to adopt Brazilian children.
The High Court heard an application by Mrs Z and her husband for a declaration that their Brazilian adoption would be capable of being a recognised legal adoption in the UK according to s.57 of the Family Law Act 1986.
The court heard that Mrs Z had been required by Brazilian law to take up permanent residence there for 18 months prior to adopting her two children.
The court also heard that during the two years that Mrs Z was living in Brazil she maintained her relationship with Mr Z, with him visiting her on several occasions and talking regularly on Skype and via email and on the telephone throughout that time.
In coming to a judgment the judge, Mrs Justice Theis, considered the fact that Mrs Z had established herself as a permanent resident of the UK before embarking upon the adoption process. She also considered the fact that the decision to live in Brazil was entirely due to the Brazilian legal process and not a personal choice.
The court also noted that the application for recognition of the adoption in UK law was made quickly and professionally, and that it was made in good faith, and thus decided to grant the couple the legal recognition they desired.