At the end of 2017 we were contacted by a person living in the UK who claimed to be the father of a child who was born in the UK and the child was wrongfully removed from the UK but he was not listed on the child’s birth certificate. Another man and a woman who did not give birth to the child /who we will refer to as SHE/ was listed as the mother.
Although the father had filed papers for recognition of his paternity concerning the child in the UK, and the competent authorities had taken HER documents so that she could not leave the country – SHE has somehow left the UK with the child and has come to Bulgaria. On the basis of the birth certificate originally issued in the UK, she has applied for and received a birth certificate for the child in Bulgaria.
The FATHER applied for recognition of his child in Bulgaria to prove that he is the father of his child, but SHE stated that this is not true and legal proceedings commenced. In the meantime, SHE took the child to Greece. There is information that they have also reached Italy.
In the UK, the proceedings proceeded and our client was recognized as the father of his child and added as the father on the birth certificate and subsequently the woman who gave birth to the child was added as the mother on the certificate, invalidating the birth certificate originally issued at the child’s birth.
On further referral to the competent authorities in Bulgaria, we found that SHE had returned to Bulgaria and married her ex-husband. There was no evidence that the child was in Bulgaria, but it turned out that it had come in Bulgaria as well /of course we found out how/.
In the meantime, HER ex/current husband had filed papers for the adoption of our client’s child with a Court, in a different locality from where his address was. The social report on the adoption, which was supposed to reflect the conditions in which the adopted child would be looked after, was in turn prepared for a house that was allegedly owned by the adopter, and it subsequently turned out that he was not even registered as living there … but many other people were registered as living there.
The judgment in the adoption case also sought to change the child’s name. /probably to hide his identity/.
In the meantime, a new birth certificate was issued in Bulgaria, based on the English certificate, in which my client was added as the father of his child, but the woman who did not give birth to the child – was still recorded as the mother.
It turned out that the Adoption Case and the Adoption Decision had come out a few days earlier. The decision was appealed, but the Court of Appeal upheld the adoption, disregarding the decisions of the English court and the fact that our client was the father of his own child.
A few days before the hearing of the adoption case before the Court of Appeal, SHE appeared on a TV programme, put out information that did not correspond to the real story /which probably set the Public against him/.
SHE also came out with an interview with a local newspaper…
But the father kept fighting to save his daughter.
We had referred the matter to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria. On one of the files, a DNA examination was prepared, which definitively confirmed that our client is the father of the child, and SHE is not the mother.
Although she was no relation to the child – neither gave birth to it nor adopted it – SHE had consented to the adoption of someone else’s child ?!?! …
SHE had a European Arrest Warrant and a ban on leaving the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.
We started a case to terminate the adoption due to lack of consent of the father.
However, SHE left Bulgaria with the child and went to Canada.
Both the First Instance and the Second Instance upheld the termination of the adoption.
From the order of the Supreme Court of Cassation, which did not allow cassation appeal:
- On the basis of the evidence gathered, the first instance court held that the final judgment of the UK court, according to which the child H. was biologically descended from the plaintiff X, was binding on the Bulgarian court, as the foreign court had international jurisdiction to hear the legal dispute. Nor are there any obstacles to the recognition of the validity of the judgment in the Republic of Bulgaria as provided for in Article 117 of the Code of Private International Law. Since X is the biological father of the child, his lack of consent constitutes grounds for termination on the ground that the full adoption of the child is void;
- the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian court in matters of descent is not exclusive, since no such exclusive jurisdiction is expressly provided for/Article 22 of the Code of Private International Law/.
A birth certificate was issued for the child with the real parents – our client as the father, and the woman who gave birth to him as the mother.
SHE is no longer on the child’s papers.
After all these decisions, the Competent Authorities acted very quickly and HE was able to get his child. Due to his great love for his child, HE stopped at nothing and HE SAVED HIS DAUGHTER. HE IS TOGETHER WITH HIS DAUGHTER.
A significant number of professionals were involved in the resolution of this unique case. We are glad that we contributed our experience and practice to its successful resolution.
If you too have a case as complex, or less complex – contact us for assistance in resolving it.