Page last updated at 05:33 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Adoption case couple to fight on

Websters
Nicola and Mark Webster have not seen their children since January 2005

A Norfolk couple who lost their bid to overturn adoption orders on three of their children have pledged to continue their legal challenge.

Senior Appeal Court judges accepted Mark and Nicky Webster may be right in thinking they had suffered a miscarriage of justice.

But they said it was not in the interests of the children to set aside the adoption orders.

Mrs Webster said the court case had "left a lot of unanswered questions".

The adoption orders had been made in December 2005 on the couple's three children, named in proceedings as A, B and C.

We're going to discuss with our legal team where we go from here
Nicky Webster

This action was based on evidence of non-accidental injuries inflicted on one of the children.

The couple, from Cromer, applied to get their children back after evidence emerged in 2007 which appeared to show that the injured child's condition may have been the result of a medical condition.

After Wednesday's case, Mrs Webster, 27, said they had been warned "not to be too hopeful" and that they were "still trying to work out exactly what it all means".

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Mrs Webster said she and her 35-year-old husband did not feel they had been cleared of involvement in injuring the child.

"They've only skimmed the surface. They haven't dug deeper," she said.

"You see cases on the news about people harming their children.

"It's beyond belief that we were put in a similar pigeonhole to that."

In a summary of their decision, the judges said: "The circumstances in which adoption orders can be revoked or set aside are extremely limited. None applied in the present case."

Mrs Webster said the couple would meet their lawyers to decide on their next course of action.

"On the one hand they (the judges) are saying it's in our favour and they fully understand why we're doing what we're doing.

"But on the other hand they're saying they can't help us.

"We're going to discuss with our legal team where we go from here."

The court added that doctors and social workers involved in the case had "acted properly throughout".

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