Re V.p. (An Infant)

Court:High Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:HCAD128/1971
Judgment Date:17 Sep 1971
HCAD000128/1971 RE V.P. (AN INFANT)

HCAD000128/1971

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG

ADOPTION CASE NO. 128 OF 1971

In Re V.P. (an infant)

Coram: Briggs, J. in Chambers.

Date of Judgment: 17 September 1971

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RULING

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1. Dennis William Nickols wishes to adopt Virat Pechkrai. In accordance with the procedure laid down by the Adoption Ordinance written notice of his intention to adopt was given to the Director of Social Welfare on June 22 1971.

2. Section 5(7)(b) of the Adoption Ordinance states in part that -

"an adoption order shall not be made in respect of any infant unless the applicant has, at least six months before the date of the order lodged with the Director ..... notice in writing of his intention to apply for an adoption order in respect of the infant."

3. The period of six months for lodging the notice of intention in this case will expire on December 21st 1971. Virat Pechkrai will attain the age of 21 years at midnight on November 29 1971 after which date it will not be possible for him to be adopted.

4. This application is brought for an order to abridge the period of six months stated in the Ordinance to enable an adoption to be put through.

5. The parents of Virat Pechkrai have agreed to the adoption of their son. The Director of Social Welfare agrees that it would be in his best interests if he were to be adopted.

6. From an affidavit filed by the solicitor representing the parties it appears that the application could have been made to the Director at an earlier date, but that through inadvertence this was not done. It also appears that this delay was in no way the fault of the parties themselves.

7. At the hearing before me Miss Ng appeared for the Director of Social Welfare and supported the application. She told me, and it is also within my knowledge, that applications of this nature have been granted by the Court on several occasions: occasions when the adoption was in the best interests of the infant in question, as here, and where the granting of the application was in effect, no more than dispensing with a formality. However there is at least one case where such an application was refused.

8. In my view this application must be refused because the words of the section are mandatory. I come to this conclusion with the greatest reluctance. For this is a case of extreme hardship to the parties. It is agreed on...

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