“...the fact that CG is the natural mother of these children in every sense of that term, while raising no presumption in her favour, is undoubtedly an important and significant factor in determining what will be best for them now and in the future.”
Baroness Hale in Re G (Children) (Residence: Same Sex Partner)  UKHL 43
So there's no presumption? Jonathan Herring in his book, Family Law, opines that it is a 'presumption in all but name'. It does appear that while saying there is 'no presumption' raised, yet the natural mother does seem to be in a favoured position.
This matter came to mind when not too long ago, i watched the movie Gone Baby Gone. There will be SUPER SPOILERS ahead so if you do intend to watch it but have yet to do so, you may want to stop reading now.
Basically, the plot deals with a little girl who was abducted. She was abducted when her natural mother neglected her - she was busy taking drugs at that time!!!! A couple of private investigators were hired to look into the matter. To cut the long story short, they found the girl - she was actually taken by the chief of police!!!!
The chief and his wife were good people. They were taking good care of the girl. The girl was happy and in extremely good condition - much better than she had ever been. She was showered with love and attention and all good things. They did not want to return the girl because they knew who the natural mother was - a drug addict who couldn't care much about her own flesh and blood. Surely the little girl was in better hands - and have a much better future ahead of her!
Our lead character - one of the PIs - was faced with a dilemma. He knew the girl was in better care. But his moral fibre told him that it is not right! The child belongs to her mother. Who are we to judge whether a person is fit or not to be a mother? The law says that a child should be in the care of his/her natural parents.
He turned in the chief police and managed to get the child returned to her natural mother.
I din really think much of the movie - i was just waiting for it to end. But the ending made it rise up from a normal movie - to me, anyways. It just blew my mind. It has been a long long time since any movie did that to me - to raise an ethical or moral issue and challenges things which i hold on to strongly - and question it.
On the one hand, the PI did what was 'right'. No one has the right to take a child away from her parent. No one should be allowed the right to decide that they will make better parents. Imagine the kind of world we'll be in! No parent is perfect but this does not give anyone a right to take their child away!
But having watched the movie, i really did not want the child to be returned to her mother! I shudder to think of the kind of life she has, and the future in store for her. She could have had such a promising life. Now, with a druggie for a mom - who is more interested in having a good time herself than to take care of her child - what are the chances of her ending up the same? Or worse?
I guess the natural parent should have some presumption in law that they would make better parents - but this should not be inflexible. To every general rule, there is an exception. If there is evidence that the child's interest is not best served, then such presumption should amount to nothing.
That's my 2 sens anyways...
Ok, these days, 2 sens get rounded down so 2 sens are not worth anything anymore. So this is my 3 sens' worth!
*Their 4th single from their debut which went to the top of the charts in the UK back then.