Deprivation of parental responsibility and adoption
Supreme Court judgment 12 October 2015, HR-2015-02041-A, (case no. 2015/824), civil case, appeal against judgment
Municipality of X (Counsel Hans-Jørgen Andersen) v. A (Counsel John Christian Elden)
Justices: Ringnes, Øie, Indreberg, Falch, Skoghøy
A local government authority had requested consent to forced adoption of a girl aged six years and seven months. Since being placed in emergency foster care as an infant, due to neglect by the mother, who was now deceased, the girl had been in a a foster home. Her foster parents wanted to adopt her. Like the court of appeal, the Supreme Court concluded that the application should be turned down, as adoption would not be in the child's best interests pursuant to section 4-20 (2) b) of the Child Welfare Act, a condition that is supported by the requirement that there must be particularly weighty reasons. It was pointed out that the child currently has a safe and sound base in the foster home, and therefore does not have much to lose if the adoption issue is postponed until her needs and the relationship with her biological father have been clarified. There is currently not enough assurance that the benefits of adoption outweigh the objective of maintaining the biological bonds between the father and daughter.