Prospective adoptive couple granted significant settlement after Bradford Council “broke” their family
The BBC recently reported that Bradford City Council have agreed on a financial settlement for Slough couple Sonny and Sarita Simak, a decision which Ridley & Hall Senior Partner Nigel Priestley has labelled “the action of a local authority that’s been found out.”
The child was a toddler when he was first placed with the Simaks and after eight months in their care was described by the couple, as well as their GP and Health Visitor, as “thriving,” but he was removed from their care with just 12 hours’ notice, in breach of both Bradford’s own procedures and the Human Rights Act 1998. Despite following all the appropriate legal steps, being approved by two adoption panels, and having an independent social worker recommend the child’s immediate return, Sonny and Sarita were devastated to learn that Bradford City Council had found that the boy was “not suitable for adoption.”
The Simaks decided to launch legal action against the Council, with support from Nigel and the team at Ridley & Hall, resulting this month in the five-figure settlement and Bradford admitting that “not all the correct processes were followed in respect of decisions relating to Mr and Mrs Simak’s case.”
Sonny and Sarita remain hopeful that a pending Department for Education inquiry may lead to their case being reviewed and the boy being allowed back into their care.
Nigel said “What sets our department apart is that we are prepared to explore the law when things don’t go right… we are the go-to firm across both England and Wales where family law and Human Rights cross over.”