Short term foster carers adopting.....

(43 Posts)
threeandcounting Tue 15-May-12 14:16:22

Hello

I was wondering if any "short term" foster carers have any experience of keeping children who were initially placed with them, and would mind sharing your experience with me?

Many thanks

SkinnyMalinkiLongLegs Tue 15-May-12 16:20:03

We did. What would you like to know?.

threeandcounting Tue 15-May-12 18:18:09

How long was did you foster for and were LA positive about the adoption?
Just testing the waters and was interested in others experiences...! Thanks

SkinnyMalinkiLongLegs Tue 15-May-12 21:32:35

DD was 3 days old when she came to live with us. She was 10 months old when her SW told me that although she would eventually be adopted it was going to be a long process. We were told she would probably be with us at least another 18 months before her adoption.
At that point dh and I discussed adopting her ourselves. Our whole family had bonded with her.
We approached her SW soon after and told her we would like to put ourselves forward as adoptors. DDs SW and our FPSW were both very happy to support our application. The SW from the adoption team was not so happy but knew there was nothing she could do to stop us.

At this point the final care plan had not been finalised in court so we kept quiet about our plans. It was several months before the case came to court and the plan for adoption was approved. At that point DDs birth mother asked if we would think about adopting her daughter.

We were then advised to get a solicitor to advise us. We found a fantastic one who came out to see us and told us to put our request in writing to the LA. We hadn't been told we had to do that but he said it was a legal requirement. He didn't charge for his time. We would only need him if the LA didn't support our application. He said he would keep our file on hold until we had been approved in case we had any problems.

SkinnyMalinkiLongLegs Tue 15-May-12 21:42:20

Sorry posted to soon.

Anyway, our assessment got underway and it was brutal (don't think just because you have been approved as carers it is easier. It's not grin).

It took 10 months to finish the assessment. Then after several delays we went to panel 6 months later and were approved. I think because DD already lived with us the department were not in a hurry to finish our application which was very frustrating. We then had to take a break from fostering for 12 months to allow us to bond with DD confused. As she had lived with us from birth the bonding was very much already done but thems the rules.

We eventually adopted DD when she was 2.6. She is 5 now and we love her to bits. smile

bonnieslilsister Wed 16-May-12 22:23:21

threeandcounting I have pm'd you

TulipsfromAmsterdam Thu 17-May-12 12:28:20

Threeandcounting - I am very interested in this thread and hope you will keep us updated smile
SkinnyMalinki -- your story is lovely and very encouraging to foster carer's who may want to follow this route though I am very aware not all endings are as happy.
Our LA told us during training FC's are not allowed to adopt but I have also heard of many success stories so have an open mind and will see what develops for us.

threeandcounting Fri 18-May-12 10:37:50

Thanks everyone!

SkinnyMalinki-What a touching story. Can i ask how the adoption assessment process was compared to the fostering process? It is lovely to hear that it ended so well!

Tulips-We are in the very early stages, but it is something that we would love to do but not sure how the land lies with the LA (getting conflicting messages/hard to get any concrete info....but suppose thats just the way it normally is grin )

threeandcounting Fri 18-May-12 10:38:42

Oh, and sorry for the delay in replying......it's been a VERY full on week!

SkinnyMalinkiLongLegs Sun 20-May-12 14:44:51

The process was very similar to the fostering assessment in some ways. We had to have medicals (despite having recently had a fostering medical confused). Our finances were checked, we had to provide bank statements ect. They also asked for referees and visited all of them. They insisted on speaking to my DDs father despite us splitting up more than 20 years ago. Sadly he told DD he would be stopping us adopting. He then told the SWs a pack of lies about me being violent and not a fit person to be around children. Fortunately they saw through his lies.

As we were asking to adopt a particular child a lot of the assessment dealt with her. We discussed how we would deal with issues that may arise from her particular history. She has 8 half and full siblings so we talked about future contact with them. There is a history of severe LDs in her family so we had to say how we would cope if she were to have LDs. One whole session dealt with how we would feel if she were to be gay which we found a little strange.
The adoption team were very wary of us fostering after and alongside the adoption. We did have a bit of a battle to be able to resume fostering. A fantastic FPSW was our biggest help with that.
The whole process was dealt with as if we were adoptors only. None of our history as FCs was taken into account and everything was started from scratch.

I will admit we did go into the process a bit naively. We assumed that as DD had come to us at birth she wouldn't grow up with the insecurities that children who have been through the fostering system before adoption often have. I see now that the worries of the adoption SWs were well founded.
DD is very happy and a joy to be with. However, she can be very insecure. She constantly asks me if I will give her away if she's naughty. She needs to know where I am at all times and doesn't like change.

Do you have a child in placement that you want to adopt?.

holiday88 Fri 09-Nov-12 19:43:41

we are foster carers and been asked by the guardian and social workerif we would consider adopting the baby in our care we have notified the adoption people and have a meeting at the end of the month worried that they will not asses us .what questions will they ask etc any advice or help?

threeandcounting Fri 09-Nov-12 23:23:03

Hello

Holiday 88-not sure how much use I will be in answering your question as we are awaiting to start the assessment to become adopters for our lo.

We have the backing of lo sw, our ssw and LA, so hopeful that the process will not be too difficult hmm...however things seem to be taking forever!

There had to be a professionals meeting between the adoption team, lo sw and ssw (without us) to agree if we could even be considered, and happily they said yes grin

Before the meeting we had mettings with ssw and discussed things like how it would effect our other children, financial implications (due to space we will no longer be able to foster, and how we would mange this) etc...

I would imagine in your case that as you have approval from the guardian and sw this will go hugely in your favour. It would be great to hear how you get on, best of luck x

holiday88 Sat 10-Nov-12 18:43:06

thanks for answering threeand counting will let you know whether they will assess us fingers crossed.

plainjayne123 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:32:32

Our family finder SW said the adoption process has been considerably shortened and they are desperate for adopters. At the moment it is difficult to find adopters for healthy young babies.

holiday88 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:52:48

thanks thats really interesting.does anybody know whether foster carers are entitled to the equvelent of maternity pay and any other monies because i believe that we will have to stop fostering for a period of time and obviously that it is how i earn an income and dont want to be destitute!!

bonnieslilsister Wed 21-Nov-12 21:46:17

I wish holiday !! I think it is because we are "self employed" that we wouldn't be entitled to any maternity payment from the LA.

threeandcounting Wed 21-Nov-12 22:27:27

Don't think so holiday88

I think you could only claim child benefit and child/working tax credits if they would be applicable to your circumstances.

We are also going to have to stop fostering (spare room issue) but i am planning to go back to work when lo starts pre school and manage on dp's wage in the meantime!

scarlet5tyger Thu 22-Nov-12 19:49:30

I think if your LA are asking you to adopt a particular child then they will also negotiate some sort of pay package.

If they don't then shouldn't you be entitled to some sort of maternity pay from the government? I've never claimed it but have been told you're entitled to stat sick pay if you're ill (with sick note from GP) and would have thought the same should apply to maternity pay.

Interesting to read that it's hard to find adopters even for healthy babies ATM. My LOs adoption SW mentioned to me just this week that more FCs should put themselves forward for the children they have in placement rather than assuming that their LA will automatically veto it.

holiday88 Wed 16-Jan-13 19:52:03

quick update had meeting this week all positive and we are going to begin the assessment process very soon

threeandcounting Thu 17-Jan-13 09:22:44

Glad to hear it holiday88-let us know how you get on :-) we are about to start the assessment for our lo grin

LaurieBlueBell Thu 17-Jan-13 10:11:56

Good luck both of you grin

TulipsfromAmsterdam Thu 17-Jan-13 10:51:03

We are currently doing our adoption prep course and starting assessment soon. Good luck holiday88 and threeandcounting, keep us informed.

holiday88 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:14:10

hi everyone we have been to panel and now have a dd cannot believe it was all so quick

threeandcounting Thu 28-Mar-13 00:03:50

Wow, that was quick grin

We are currently going through the adoption assessment process and hope to be at panel possibly May/June and finalised in court by Sept/October.

Huge congratulations to you all, and best wishes for your future together! X

sheena111 Thu 02-May-13 15:40:53

hi. i am a fostercarer and would like to adopt a baby we had from a few days old. we informed all concerned parties in writing, and although the childs sw is happy but the adoption team seem to be not so keen but awaiting a meeting to take place.

in the mean time does anyone know if fostercarers have any rights in respect of adopting a child who has been with them for almost a year?

fasparent Fri 03-May-13 23:08:54

There will be new Adoption Legal changes soon. Will include fast tracking adoptions for foster parents ., Also adoptive parents who already
have been through the Selection process in that they have already adopted a child these are a few area's recommended that may be of interest announced today.

holiday88 Wed 08-May-13 19:53:03

i think i read somewhere that if they have lived with you for over a year you have more legal standing and you can put some legal papers into court so that ss cannot remove the child which they may well do if they do not agree with you adopting it happened to us.sorry not more help but cannot find the web site where i read the above if i find it i will let you know.

fasparent Wed 08-May-13 21:19:39

What you need too read is "New Passport to support Adopters" ONLY issued this week at http://www.gov/government/news/new-passport-support-for-adopters
Passport is available on First4Adoption website. think it this or first for adoption. Tell's all that will be available including adoption leave for foster carers, and new adoptive parents. Also fast track process.

Julez1 Thu 23-May-13 23:55:56

Hi there all, I am a foster Carer and have only been doing it for 18 months but we had a baby placed with us 3days old and is now 13months. We never went into fostering to adopt but have really bonded with him due to the fact that he died on us after 8days and we revived him with the help of doctor and then paramedics. He has heart disease and had a heart op the following morning and he may have to have another op later on in his child hood. We requested to adopt him in dec 12 however LA came and did an initial assessment in jan 13 but only told us the end of march that they will not take it further as we are not a cultural match, we want to continue fostering and that there would be a delay in the child's process for adoption...... They have had 8 couples turn him down due to the medical implications and have said they are looking at 2 more families. I have been to a solicitor and have been told that it may cost me around £6-£12 thousand pounds to get it through court only to have little chance of winning? Does any of you on here know if this is correct or have contacts of another solicitor just to get another opinion, as I was told it would be easier due to the fact he has now been with us over a year. I wanted a judge to tell me I cannot keep him not a SW! Thanks for reading

NanaNina Fri 24-May-13 00:35:39

Do you mind my asking what is the "mismatch" in terms of culture. I am a retired sw and tm mgr of a Fostering & Adoption Team in a LA. I think in cases like this, the LA should give serious consideration to your wish to adopt. A child with complex medical conditions, is as you already know unlikely to be matched with suitable adoptors. The great plus in your favour is that you have bonded with the baby and that is of prime importance. Also, you are willing to adopt this baby even though he has complex medical condition, which proves how much you love this child.

It is the LAs job (when they hold parental responsibility) to make plans for the child's future and in his best interests, so they do have the right to do as they have done, i.e. turn you down because of this cultural "mismatch" - I don't know where you live or the nature of the "mismatch" but if this is an African-Caribbean/whiteUK child, or African-CAribbean or Asian, or an Eastern European child, there are
many areas of the country that are multi-racial and multi-cultural and therefore a child of a different culture from yourselves would not "stand out" as being different and this is a point to put to the LA.

You have some options:

1. You could ask for a meeting with the child's sw (as it is her or him who decides which family the baby should be placed with - if indeed any are forthcoming) and the team manager, to discuss more fully their reservations about the cultural "mismatch" and if you give me more details I might be able to help you formulate arguments against theirs.

2. This issue of children waiting in foster homes and not being adopted because of the cultural issue is quite a hot potatoe at the moment and David Cameron has been raising this issue recently. SO you could get in touch with your local councillor and ask him/her to intervene. This would mean that you were "going over the heads of the sws" so they will not be pleased, but it does sometimes work.

3. I'm not at all sure about the advice you got from the solicitor - I think he/she didn't want to take the case on and so got rid of you by quoting these huge sums of money. It is possible for a solicitor in a situation like yours, IF the LA try to move the child, to get an immediate court hearing to request that the court make an Interim Residence Order (which transfers the Parental Responsibility to you) though shared with the birth parents. IF it is granted, then the LA no longer has PR for the baby. You can then proceed to apply for an Adoption Order, or a Special Guardianship Order (youwill have to google that as I don't have time to explain!)

4. YOu could contact Fostering Networks or British Agencies for Fostering & Adoption (BAAF) for advice. You could google them for phone numbers and information.

I would advise you try No. 1 first. Of course IF there are no adoptors willing to take on this baby, then the balls in your court and the LA should be "snatching your hand off" to agree to your application to adopt the baby.

threeandcounting Fri 24-May-13 22:20:36

I have pm'd you, although the advice probably isn't as good as NanaNina's..x

Mcdonaldalison Sat 29-Jun-13 14:19:33

I am looking for some advice. I had two children placed with me on feb 2012. A wee girl at 6 and a baby at 17 weeks. The placement with the wee girl broke down in December due to an incident between the kids and I made the call that I could not keep them both safe. I still have contact with the wee girl and have an excellent relationship. After a psychological assessment, it was recommended the kids be placed seperately for adoption. The wee boy is 22 months and calls us mum and dad. A distant uncle has come out the wood work for adoption although we also expressed an interest. Council has reservations about us as it may affect their sibling relationship in future. Should we fight for him and have we got any rights? We are heartbroken at loosing him.

fasparent Sun 07-Jul-13 01:04:10

Hi we are still fostering after 38 year's , on the way we have 8 loved and cherished adopted children and SGO's with others. Also our own children. All can say is follow your heart's.

flowerpot64 Wed 31-Jul-13 15:52:39

Hi I have been reading threw all your massages and found them very informative. I to have been fostering for about 6 years as a single carer and have a small child in place who I've had for a year now. He is up for adoption but at presents there is no family for him. I put myself forward and my sw and the childs sw were keen, the adoption team have turned me down as I live on the border of the area they wont the child to live outside. I have offered to move over the border away form here and they have still said no. I am now seeking legal advise as the child has always been in a protected placement and myself and his birth family have never met and don't no were I live. Thanks for ready any advise would be great.

helensparkles Sat 17-Aug-13 10:41:22

I'm a huge fan of foster carers adopting, when it is the right match, but this is a very complex area of social work. Everyone thinks child protection is the cutting edge, but this is like heart transplant surgery. The caution and resistance you meet as foster carers wishing to adopt needs to be unpacked, you might find that experienced family placement social workers have rightly got concerns, but balance that with adopters who very often have no parenting experience. Don't view it as a battle, even if you might need a judge, and making your own application in opposition to the views of the LA isn't great foone. r any

Family members are always prioritised Mdonaldalison so, if the uncle is ok, that is the law not the LA. flowerpot64, not sure why your offer to move hasn't been accepte, but if there are real risks find out about them for your future.

fasparent Sun 18-Aug-13 11:04:50

Adopted 8 yes 8 and have two SGO, lots of other foster children still in touch have a large extended family all children are in contact with each other including Ex foster children and our birth children . Some birth parents and Grand parents / birth siblings adopted by other family's are included and have unsupervised contact, Has its ups and downs but in General all is working extremely well.

StupidMistakes Sun 18-Aug-13 11:09:56

I wish my sons foster carer had adopted him. They were amazing with him and me. But they didn't feel able to cos they already have two daughters of their own and also was fostering a baby who'd been with them since she was released from hospital at which point they had been fostering liam for 3 months.

threeandcounting Thu 29-Aug-13 12:19:17

Hello :-) Just thought that I would update to say that we are now passed as adopters for lo :-) Such a long journey and so many hoops to go through, but worth every second and more!

holiday88 Thu 29-Aug-13 20:26:48

pleased for you ,we should have our celebration in october fingers crossed

holiday88 Tue 17-Sep-13 19:31:35

she legally became ours today!!fantastic

Mum2lots Thu 19-Sep-13 23:39:49

Well done holiday xxxxx

Suzie2013 Sat 26-Oct-13 13:55:18

We have been to adoption panel and been told if we continue with the adoption we must give up fostering completely but we don't want to!!! what now? Thanks.

holiday88 Sat 26-Oct-13 20:40:46

we had to put it on hold for 6 months and then we continued,they were understanding that we enjoyed fostering,plus financial, that was the way of earning money and our way of life,everything worked out well

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