Religious circumcision and parental consent: L & B


In L and B (Children: Specific Issues: temporary leave to remove from the jurisdiction; circumcision) [2016] EWHC 849 (Fam), AB was the father of two boys, L and B, aged 6 and 4¾. Their parents were never legally married, though they went through an Islamic marriage ceremony in January 2009. The relationship broke down in 2012: the father had not formed another relationship but the mother had a new partner with whom she had a two-year-old daughter.

The father had the children to stay on alternate weekends and sought to extend his contact time so as to move towards sharing their care more equally. He also sought permission to remove them temporarily from the jurisdiction of England and Wales, envisaging that they would travel regularly to Algeria in order to benefit from knowing both sides of their extended families and cultures. He offered a formal undertaking to the court to return the children to the jurisdiction at the end of each such period of contact and his sister offered to put in place a bond of £50,000 against him defaulting in his obligation to do so [30 & 31]. Finally, he asked for the court’s permission to allow the children to be circumcised under local or general anaesthetic, Continue reading