CFAB’s New International Legal Advice Service has launched

We are proud to announce the launch of our new International Legal Advice Service, created with the aim of providing wider reaching, international legal support for cross-border child protection cases. As a charity with experience in this field for over 65 years, working in over 130 countries and seeing tens of thousands of cases, we have witnessed first-hand just how important legal advice and guidance can be in complex, cross-border children’s proceedings.  

Our legal and social work team can attest how important legal advice from experts based in other countries and jurisdictions can be to the outcome of a proceedings, and how much it can impact the best interests of a child. Legal experts can provide greater context and understanding of local child protection legislation, and therefore have more insight into possible outcomes for a child and family. Their advice is therefore very helpful in guiding decisions in situations where children are exposed to harm in international settings, or to facilitate kinship placements overseas.  

For this reason, CFAB has developed an International Legal Advice Service based on our expanding partnerships with lawyers in different countries, who can help provide expert reports for use in child protection proceedings in UK courts. Our Legal Advice Service makes us well placed to draw on our partnerships and bring together lawyers from different continents, creating a centralised network of international legal experts who can provide reports to help meet the best interests of children specific to their local context.  

Our partners may be able to assist with advice on foreign law in respect of the following issues:

  • Legal frameworks for placing children with kin and in foster care overseas
  • Parental responsibility, custody and guardianship in the relevant jurisdiction
  • Law surrounding child abduction and relocation

The International Legal Advice Service is run by our Senior Legal Adviser, Maria Wright, a solicitor and doctoral researcher completing her PhD in care proceedings with an international element. Maria worked as a solicitor in private practice for 7 years representing clients in a wide range of matters encompassing international child abduction, jurisdictional disputes concerning children, wardship, committal, forced marriage, and public and private law proceedings.

We hope this service will be an important step in the collaborative work of family lawyers and social service professionals across the globe and, just like the International Social Service (ISS) network, will help to forge greater partnerships internationally in the best interests of children and families.

To learn more about the service, visit our website page here, and to access the service, please send a brief enquiry to