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Foster to adopt - when it goes wrong.

(37 Posts)
Roodle2 Sat 25-Apr-15 21:48:53

We recently fostered a baby girl, on the Foster to Adopt route. After a year, a family member came forward and she went to him. We are devastated by this loss and I was wondering if there was anyone else out there who had experienced the same thing. It's been nearly a year since she left us but it doesn't seem to be getting any easier to deal with.

ColdTeaAgain Sun 26-Apr-15 01:35:40

Sorry I don't have any experience but just wanted to say I'm so sorry that you are going through this, how incredibly difficult it must be. You are going through grief in a way, maybe councelling would help?

Are you allowed to stay in contact? Forgive my ignorance.

Italiangreyhound Sun 26-Apr-15 15:41:05

I am so sorry to hear this.

Can you access any counselling? I wonder if Adoption UK has anything to help? It must be terrible to experience this. Are you going to adopt now going down a straight forward adoption route?

It does seem terrible for you and for the child to have experienced this.

ImperialBlether Sun 26-Apr-15 15:53:59

How awful. You must miss her terribly. Why didn't he come forward earlier, if he was so keen?

Roodle2 Sun 26-Apr-15 20:28:38

Thank you for your Suggestions. I don't think he came forward until the last minute because the family seemed quite happy for us to foster her and they could then have contact with her, but the moment the adoption was about to be sorted out, they decided to find some distant great uncle from 8000 miles away , who had a girlfriend the toddle had never met. They rent and live in a pub is a real drinkers pub, darts matches, bands etc most nights and weekends hours are extended. She is farmed out all over the place as she cat sleep because of the noise. How can a judge make a decision to send a one year old child to live with people she doesn't know in conditions I wouldn't like to raise a child in??

Hels20 Sun 26-Apr-15 21:43:43

So sorry to read this post. I have wondered about fostering to adopt - but there is always the chance the child will return to birth family and am not sure I could cope as I am not selfless enough.

How hard for you. So sorry for your pain.

bradbury62 Mon 04-May-15 23:52:19

Hi. We joined foster to adopt scheme last November. We have just found out that birth grandma has had positive assessment and likely to have our child awarded to them. We are heartbroken and dont know where to turn. It seems irrelevant that we have built a strong loving bond with our baby boy. We desperately want our voice heard before the court case in a months time. Can we employ our own solicitor? Would our local MP help? How can it be in the child's best interest to move him from such a successful placement that he has enjoyed since birth?
Please help.

Kewcumber Tue 05-May-15 08:21:39

I'm so sorry. Like Hels20 I looked into concurrent planning which I know isn;t quite the same thing but was what was around when I was adopting and decided against for exactly this reason.

Bradbury - I'm sorry but I doubt you will find much luck - SS have an obligation to keep the child within birth family if they are deemed acceptable. I can;t think of a reason why you could appeal this though perhaps someone else will come along who can. Were you aware that birth grandma was being assessed?

Roodle2 Tue 05-May-15 09:52:23

Bradbury, yes do get your own solicitor, please leave no stone unturned. This is a desperate situation for you, but you mst fight it. We had our fster daughter for a year, from ten weeks old and we later found out that this could of ment we had a right to be respondents in the case. Also, there s an argument, that if the child is very young, then special guardianship s not the right course of action. I feel for you do much. It has been a year since our foster baby left and I am as heartbroken now as I was then. It doesn't seem to get easier. I hope everyday that she will come back. So please do not sit back and accept it. Get legal advice.

Roodle2 Tue 05-May-15 09:56:38

Also, the fact you have had since birth mst mean something? Does the baby have a relationship with its birth grandma already? Are they having contact? We really need some kind of support group for people who have had a failed fostered to adopt. Who is there to help us? I think the whole thing way it is done is cruel and leaves the potential adopters feeling used and abused. Our voices are unheard.

bradbury62 Tue 05-May-15 11:19:32

Roodle2 thank you so much. We totally agree that our voice is not been heard. We have had our son since birth. He has had three contact sessions with grandma recently whilst she was been assessed.
We are contacting solicitors today. If you know anyone who deals with these matters it would be a great help. We have already been turned away from the first one who doesn't deal in these matters.
I'm very interested in your comments that suggest we have a right to be respondents in the case. We just want a chance to put forward our views.
How can it be in best interest of the child to remove him from the loving nurturing environment he has enjoyed since birth?

Mama1980 Tue 05-May-15 11:21:12

I'm so sorry to hear this. My situation is different but my youngest was placed in my care the day she was born with bm consent (big difference here is that I am distance family and also have custody of her elder sister) the adoption order went through at 7 months and the relief was huge even though things were as certain as they can be.
I could not follow traditional foster to adopt for the reasons you mention. Have you been able to access any support? Any counselling?

Bradbury, likewise I am truly very sorry. Honestly though I don't think you will have any grounds to appeal. As Kew says ss have a legal obligation to allow and facilitate the return to birth family if a suitable carer can be found. Studies have shown time and again that this is long term what is best for the child and ss have no choice but to adhere to this. (Not saying they are right by the way but that is the legal position based on evidence legally used) I have not heard of a successful appeal.
Likewise a appeal itself can be so damaging to all concerned, dragging out over months and most of all to the child. if they are to be returned to birth relative the sooner this takes place the better for the child.
Please don't think I mean to be harsh I don't, I honestly feel for you.

Kewcumber Tue 05-May-15 12:09:35

How can it be in best interest of the child to remove him from the loving nurturing environment he has enjoyed since birth? When there is a loving nurturing environment with birth family available.

A bit like Mama1980 I really don't want to kick you when you are down but surely the risk was explained when you went into foster to adopt?

I know when I looked into concurrent planning which I accept is a slightly different thing but similar, there was an assessment that about 20% of children end up back with birth family in some way.

I doubt your undoubted bond is a grounds for appeal unless you can show that GM is not a good alternative, otherwise children would never be able to leave foster carers.

Kewcumber Tue 05-May-15 12:19:24

Sorry that post sounds very harsh when I'm sure you are suffering terribly. I think you just need to be realistic about your chances of success.

bradbury62 Tue 05-May-15 12:57:05

Hi kewcumber. Valid point. Whilst almost everything appears to be confidential we have been able to find out a little information. Grandma has two children, both adopted, and both have had their children removed in to care. This track record makes me question whether it's in the best interest of the child to be placed with them.
Equally birth father is a set offender. My wife and I are extremely concerned as to our child's safety. Blood is thicker than water.

bradbury62 Tue 05-May-15 13:03:09

Hi mama1980. We are not seeking to appeal we simply want our voice to be heard during the court proceedings. We are the only family our son has ever known, he couldn't have had a better start in life ( given his circumstances) , and we fail to understand why our opinion should not be heard and considered.

Roodle2 Tue 05-May-15 13:48:02

Dear bradbury, We had similar concerns about the person to whom our foster baby was to be given to. He ran a un down pub, had a daughter of his own he never saw and they lived 8000 miles away. He lived a woman, his girlfriend who had never met her too.
They had no experience of child care. Like you, none of this made sense. She was so happy and content and thriving. She knew nothing of these people and we had been her family for her entire life. One can not explain to a 14 month old what is about to happen to her. The shock would be enough to set them back in their development. Nobody is thinking about he best interests of the child.
I have nothing but the deepest sympathy for you.

Kewcumber Tue 05-May-15 15:22:47

My DS was placed with me at 13 months so I do understand the trauma of a move for whatever reason. So I'm really not diminishing the upset and upheaval.

Based on other cases as well as ones like this I think that adopters will be increasingly resistant to foster to adopt situations.

Certainly I would do as you are and investigate whether you can at least have a voice in teh proceedings bradbury I can't recommend a lawyer who takes on these kind of cases but the firm who represented DS (appointed by court) were Ezkinasi www.eskinazi.co.uk/services/adoption-in-the-uk-and-inter-country/

I think it was actually Susan Ezkinazi herself who represented him but his case was fairly straightfroward so I can't comment on how good they might be in this situation.

MarmiteChocolate Tue 05-May-15 16:04:06

Hi Bradbury,
sorry to hear of this terribly sad situation. I am an adoption social worker and have seen foster-adopt and concurrency placements be a total minefield over the years. The bottom line is that this little biy is not "your son" in the eyes if the law - he is a child who has a legal right to be raised within his birth family if it is safe to do so. You are nothing more than short term temporary foster carers, and you would be expected to support any move for the baby that the court decides. You will REALLY rub court, guardian, and social workers up the wrong way if you start appealing for your rights, as your agency should have prepared you for the fact that you don't have any legal rights or parental responsibility for the child until such point as a placement order is made and the child formally placed for adoption. At present you are being paid as a professional short term carer.

By all means seek some legal advice and I wish you well. Ghastly situation.

Mama1980 Tue 05-May-15 16:18:51

Hi again honestly you have no right to your opinion because they are not your child. I'm sorry but you are carers in place to support the courts decisions. It is their job with ss to make judgements.
You have no legal right to an opinion and this should have been explained to you in detail and why that is before you signed up so to speak.
I am so sorry again if I sound harsh I am truly sorry for your situation but there's no real 'nice' way to put it.
My eldest was removed from her bm after numerous attempts for her to get clean, my dd now at 17 appreciates this even though it couldn't work. Please don't assume the worst (and I realise I am projecting somewhat here) of the grandmother, I moved area, Job, left my partner and cut family ties I'd had since childhood to take custody of my eldest. I also have birth children and the expression blood is thicker than water is hurtful. Though I'm sure you didn't mean it to be so.
I wish you all the best what a awful situation sad

oasiswaterpool Tue 05-May-15 16:50:46

This is very interesting to me as our SW has just come forward with a child on the foster to adopt route. She has already lived with a family member but that care was not sufficient.

oasiswaterpool Tue 05-May-15 16:54:28

So sorry to hear about your situation. It is very cruel to remove him after you have bonded with him. After 3 and half years trying to adopt a child I seriously am beginning to wonder in whose interest some of these decisions are made. How can this be good for a child who is settled and happy after previous disruption. God bless and I hope you can do something.

oasiswaterpool Tue 05-May-15 16:57:19

This is very interesting to me as our SW has just come forward with a child on the foster to adopt route. She has already lived with a family member but that care was not sufficient.

floatyjosmum Tue 05-May-15 20:10:41

Agree with marmite - you are a foster carer at the minute and therefore not party to the proceedings so you have no legal rights at all.
there are more children returning to birth family than I imagine most pepole realise so this does happen a lot to foster carers who support children returning home.
Did your agency offer extra training and assessment session for foster 2 adopt to look at whether you could manage a return home?

floatyjosmum Tue 05-May-15 20:12:03

Oasis - if a family member has already offered care and the courts are I'm agreement for a move I would say that would look positive in your favour. I would make sure that there are no other family members anywhere though.

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