Affair Baby At Risk Of 'Honour Killing' Must Be Adopted, Says Court Of Appeal
A baby at risk of becoming the victim of an "honour killing" because she was born as the result of her Muslim mother's secret affair must be adopted to keep her safe, the Court of Appeal ruled today.
Three senior judges rejected a bid by the one-year-old girl's natural father to have her come and live with him and his wife.
The child's natural mother is in favour of adoption so that her own family will not find out about the birth.
Lord Justice Munby, Lady Justice Black and Lord Justice Kitchin said in a joint judgment the case involved "exceptionally difficult adoption proceedings".
The judges imposed unusually wide reporting restrictions banning the publication of all names and locations linked to the case because of the continuing dangers faced by mother and child.
The appeal court rejected an appeal by the father "F" against a decision of High Court Family Division judge Mrs Justice Parker last July refusing him a residence order allowing the baby to come and live with him.
The judge ordered that "baby Q" should be adopted by a couple, also Muslim, from the same country as the mother, but from a different community.
She found there would be "a very significant risk of two and two being put together" if the child went to the father because Q was quite obviously not the child of his wife, who had a child of her own.
If the child's maternal grandfather found out about the affair "it would be a matter of intense almost unimaginable shame to him and his family", said the judge.
The appeal court said today: "It was plainly the judge's view that this might provoke action to preserve the family's honour."
The mother had consented to the adoption by the couple, who had been looking after her since December 2010.
The appeal judges ruled: "In the particular circumstances of this case, the judge rightly regarded the risk of physical harm to Q and M (her mother) as being of major importance."