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Adoption & Contact - Halle Berry's Daughter & Options under UK Family Law

The Daily Mail reported last week (week commencing March 12th) that Halle Berry is currently being accused, by the father of her child, of planning to move their daughter to France on a permanent basis. This would subsequently limit the amount of contact he would have with his daughter.

The law states that if a parent is planning to remove a child from the jurisdiction for longer than a period of one month then they have to have the approval of all those with parental responsibility. Parental Responsibility is acquired in several ways.

The mother of the child will always automatically have parental responsibility and a father will have it if they were married to the mother at the time of the birth, or having been granted parental responsibility or a residence order by the Court or by being appointed as a guardian of the child either by the Court or the mother of the child.It has also been rumoured that Halle Berry plans for her new fiancé, Oliver Martinez, to adopt her daughter. For Oliver to adopt Halle Berry’s daughter he would require the consent of both her biological parents and it seems unlikely, if the Daily Mail’s report is to be believed, that Halle Berry’s child’s natural father would be willing to agree to this.

There are exceptions to this which include; the child’s natural parents whereabouts being unknown, if they are unable to give their consent or the welfare of the child is so that the parents’ consent can be dispensed with.If Halle Berry were to successfully obtain an adoption order for her new partner then this would extinguish all of her ex partners legal rights over his daughter, and his rights would lie with Halle and Oliver.

Ultimately the Court’s main priority is the welfare of the child and what is going to be in the best interest of the child, therefore it is unlikely that one parent will be prevented from having contact with their child unless there is a history of abuse or the Court feel that it is not safe for the child to be having contact with that parent.