British couple in France obtain guardianship of their British grandson


A British couple could be the first in post-Brexit France to be granted special guardianship of a British child after a British court cleared them to care for their grandson.

Patricia and David Rowland from Deux-Sèvres, whom we introduced earlier in the year, have now been able to bring in one-year-old Isaac and say he has settled in well.

Read more: Brexit: grandparents in France ask for guardianship of a British grandson

Social workers in the UK had previously told Ms Rowland that the couple may not be granted special guardianship due to problems with recognition by France after Brexit.

However, at the end she said “the [UK] judge was amazing” and gave them the status they were hoping for. Status confers rights and responsibilities similar to parenthood, but allows a child to maintain basic legal ties to their biological family. Ms Rowland’s son and his partner were unable to look after Isaac.

Ms Rowland, 59, said the documents were translated into French by a sworn translator, who translated them into guardianship (the French equivalent), and so far this has been accepted without question.

“Doctors, medical insurance, we got him baptized…there were no issues, so it should be good for people in the future.

“He has been adopted by the community, loves his life here and has settled in incredibly well,” Ms Rowland said. “He’s a happy little boy.”

She said she has now been in contact with a family in Brittany who are looking to do the same, who had read our articles.

“They’re not getting anywhere with UK social services in their area. I suggested they cite my case, Sunderland County Council v Rowland,’ she said.

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