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Statement of Facts - Step Parent Adoption(10 Posts)
My 12yo dss lives me and dh full time and has done since late 2011. We are extremely close. I love him as though he were mine and vice-versa.
His bio mum lives abroad and has chosen to cut dss out of her life. I met dss when he was 2 and have been main mother figure in his life since then. Bio mum willingly signed Residency to us and PR to me.
There has been no direct contact since April 2013. We took dss to Europe to visit her. They spent a couple of hours together but she brought dss back early, stating that 'he wanted his mum'.
We had also taken him to see her in April 2012 and August 2012 but there was a lack of commitment from her end on each visit (i.e. not showing up/showing up extremely, extremely late with poor or no excuses) so we stopped because the waiting around and anxiety was damaging to dss. The court order does not oblige us to take dss for visits- we were just trying to do the right thing. She visited England for 2 days in January 2012. Since then she says that she cannot afford anymore flights but she and her new dh take regular 5* holidays to other locations.
She also refuses to send Christmas or Birthday cards on financial grounds. Nor does she call on special occasions. We originally waived child maintenance as we were just happy to have dss with us officially but the court ordered a payment of €75 a month. This has never been paid so the debt must be approaching €4000.
The last indirect contact was a drunken phone call in November 2013 entailing verbal abuse to a then 9yo dss which traumatised him to the point of missing a day of school due to lack of sleep (We did not take this decision lightly- I am a teacher and dss was a pupil in my school at the time.)
No contact with bio mum's family either. We contacted her sister (dss' godmother) just over a year ago asking for help in trying to build some kind of relationship between dss and his bio mum but she did not want to get involved and said that if bio mum did not want to know dss then there was her choice. No word from her since. In fact, both sisters have blocked our phone numbers.
Dss is very keen on the adoption, as are myself and dh. We have taken several months to discuss it as a family and ensure that dss understands the implications if it goes ahead. I sent bio mum a letter about my intention to adopt via registered mail in November but received no reply. She has moved house twice but I think that the address that I used is correct as we heard that she had moved back to the flat that she used to live in originally and and the letter was signed for. We also emailed her the letter but again, no reply. I also looked her up on Facebook and messaged her but as we are not friends she may not have received it.
Therefore, on the A58 form I will need to state that I do not have bio mum's consent to the adoption and I will need to submit a Statement of Facts as to why I want to go ahead.
My question is what this Statement should focus on: her shortcomings or my positives? I want to be honest but there are so many examples of damaging behaviour on her part that the document came across in quite a nasty way and I'm concerned that that will in turn reflect on me somehow.
I hope that somebody can give me some guidance.
Hi lateforeverything. Having pointed you over here I feel duty bound to reply. But I think you'll get some good advice here from others too.
If I were you I would focus on your dss and how the adoption is in his best interests. I think if you put him at the heart of your statements you'll be able to report her
frankly piss poor behaviour in an objective tone. So for e.g. something about how your dss looks to you as his primary carer - for e.g. you would give gifts and cards on special occasions whereas his bm does not. That takes some of the emotion out of it. Ultimately the adoption needs to be in the child's best interests so you would be showing how that is the case.
I wonder if you might highlight (as you have in your op) your efforts to endure contact is maintained and what that might look like going forward too? I think that's another thing sws/courts might be interested in.
Thank you very much MypocketsarelikeNarn
Yes, I will definitely mention our attempts to maintain contact because I want to avoid any claims of alienation etc.
Interestingly prescient autocorrect there ☺
It totally sounds in your son's best interests to make this relationship, which sounds exactly as morher and son should be, legal and permanent.
Totally agree with Narnia put everything on terms of your boy, his stability and permanence. Best of luck.
Thank you Italiangreyhound I'm hoping to finish the statement today and will definitely be taking the advice on board.
Little update: Intention to Submit Adoption Application received by bio mum and LA. Dss is starting to show his excitement and emotion a bit more which is lovely. I will manage his expectations but it is nice to discuss the potential outcome with him. He is just so lovely though. "Whatever they say, you're my mum anyway because you're always there. It would be cool though!" ❤
Bio mum continues to be 100% NC. On the day the letter was delivered she was on Facebook as usual discussing what trainers she wanted to buy etc so no change there.
LA have sent me a form to fill in and are going to contact me about a visit once I have submitted the details of the other adults living in the house. (It's my mum's house and sometimes she and dss are even closer than dss and me lol so no problems there.)
I will have to clarify re: amount of time to wait before applying to the court because this was previously three months but my letter says that once the dbs checks are done then we can apply. Secondly, it says that it's up to me to get bio mum to sign the consent forms because she lives abroad but she ignores ALL contact. I'll see how that plays out when the sw tries to contact her I guess.
Have a good weekend
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