Lord Justice Wilson:1. Married parents, living together, apply for permission to appeal against orders made by Hedley J in the High Court, Family Division, Principal Registry, on 30 January 2009. I am sorry to have been told this afternoon that the father is indisposed today and in effect unable to attend court. The mother has attended court, with the considerable support of Mrs Docherty, her McKenzie friend; and the mother has been endowed with authority by the father to speak on behalf of both of them in support of the application. The mothers submissions were no less helpful for having been short. She made the submissions primarily by reference to notes made, perhaps, with the assistance of others; and I am very grateful to her for taking on the burden of addressing the Court of Appeal this afternoon.
2. The proceedings relate to their child, who has been given the initial A. She is a girl who is now aged four. It is a tragedy, at any rate for the parents, that A has never lived with the father and has scarcely lived with the mother. For the first four months of her life, A lived with the mother in the home of the maternal grandparents; but thereupon she was placed in short-term foster care pursuant to a series of interim care orders. In October 2006, notwithstanding the most active opposition of the parents, orders were made which placed A in the full care of the London Borough of Enfield (the local authority) and authorised As placement for adoption. Those orders, sought by the local authority, have also attracted the support of As Childrens Guardian. It was shortly after the making of those orders that the contact of the parents with A, which had been supervised, ceased. In April 2007 Munby J, sitting as an additional judge of this court, refused the application of the parents for permission to appeal against the care and placement orders. Accordingly, albeit only in March 2008, A was placed for adoption. The proposed adopters have now issued an application for an adoption order to be made in relation to A and their application is fixed to be heard next month, April 2009.