A TEENAGER who wanted to look after her two little sisters to avoid them being placed for adoption has lost a family court fight.

The 17-year-old said she was "completely committed" to the girls, who are four and nearly two, and could meet their care needs.

Family members gave their backing and said they would provide support.

But a judge has ruled against the teenager after social workers and a psychologist said she would not be able to meet the girls' "emotional needs".

Judge Martin Dancey says social workers will to try to find adoptive families who would allow the little girls to stay in touch with their big sister.

At a hearing at the Bournemouth family court, Judge Dancey said there was "lots of love and affection" for the girls. However, he said love and affection was "not all it takes". As a result, he decided the girls should instead be placed for adoption.

Details of the case have been outlined by the judge in a written ruling. The family involved has not been identified.

The judge said the teenager and the girls had been neglected by their mother, who had ruled herself out as a carer. The girls had been taken from home and temporarily placed with foster parents.

The teenager and the girls had been affected by the care they had received at home. The judge said the teenager did not have "the insight" into her own emotional needs or the girls' emotional needs and might struggle to cope with the girls' "challenging" behaviour.

"I have listened carefully to (the teenager) and the family," said Judge Dancey.

"I was impressed by what they had to say. They are obviously committed to the girls. There is lots of love and affection shown towards them.

"If that was all it took the answer would be easy. But it is not all it takes.

"I have weighed up what the professionals say and what the family says. I agree with the thinking of the professionals and their reasons.

"While I believe (the teenager) could meet the girls' basic care needs, I do not think she could cope with their emotional needs, even with support from the family.

"The consequences for the girls if things do go wrong would be really serious. Their emotional needs would not be met and their emotional and psychological development would be affected."

He said the teenager and relatives had done their best to find a solution that avoided adoption.

However, he added: "I have decided that it is in the girls' best interests, lifelong, to have the potential for the commitment, security and permanence and attuned parenting that adoption could provide for them."

Social workers would try to find adopters who would allow the girls to stay in touch with family members, the judge said.