JCWI have applied for permission to intervene in the case of AK (Afghanistan) v SSHD C4/2019/2480. The Appellants (represented by Duncan Lewis) are challenging the family reunion provisions relating to de facto adoptions. The immigration rules as drafted make it impossible for refugees in the UK to sponsor adopted children in countries which are not signatories to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (de facto adoptions).


Under paragraph 352D of the rules, a minor child of a refugee parent who was part of the family unit at the time the refugee left their country of habitual residence is entitled to entry clearance to join their parent (as long as they are not living an independent life, are unmarried and have not formed an independent family unit). The definition of a parent includes an adoptive parent, but only if the adoption took place in a country whose adoption orders are recognised by the United Kingdom or is the subject of a de facto adoption. De facto adoptions are defined under rule 309A of the rules and requires the parent and child to have lived together for 12 months immediately preceding the application for entry clearance. This makes it an impossibility for de facto adopted children of refugees to satisfy the rules. The rules are clearly discriminatory and non-compliant with Article 8 ECHR. We need your help to prove this.


Please do get in touch if you have clients who are de facto adopted children/non-Hague Convention adopted children who either applied under the family reunion rules and/or applied for entry clearance under Article 8 ECHR. We would be grateful if you are able to provide the following information:


  1. What happened in these cases?
  2. Were they granted or refused?
  3. If refused, did they appeal, what was the outcome of the appeal and how long did it take?
  4. What period and conditions of leave was granted?
  5. What was the impact of the entire process on the children and the family?
  6. Did they suffer any particular detriment while awaiting the outcome?
  7. Who looked after the children during the process and what were their living conditions like?
  8. The Home Office reference number.

 If you are able to help, please contact [email protected] and [email protected] by 28 April 2021.