A couple who adopted two children were forced to move house after a council blunder saw their address sent to the birth family.
Social services staff at Greenwich Council, London, also failed to carry out “basic core social work” about the possibility of the children being cared for by a member of their wider family, as it emerged that an Aunt wanted to take them in.
A family court judge had approved a plan for adoption in late 2016 after their parents could no longer look after them, and the children were placed with prospective adopters in spring 2017.
But at the High Court, Mrs Justice Theis said council staff had not “properly assessed” an aunt who was willing to care for them.
The judge has approved adoption, after reviewing evidence, and concluded that the children should stay where they have been for nearly two years, because moving the children to their aunt’s home now would disrupt them and cause harm.
But she added that “one of the tragedies” of the case was that the children would in all likelihood have been able to live with their aunt had she been properly assessed before they were placed with prospective adopters.