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Is possible for a married couple to place a child for adoption in the UK?

(118 Posts)
jay002 Sat 12-Mar-11 13:59:52

I'm actually asking this question on of my sister in law. She's expecting and her and my brother never planned to have children and aren't really capable of looking after a child. They decided to look into adoption a only to find out that in Ireland a married couple cant give their baby up for adoption. Their only choice is to keep the baby or put it in foster care. She's devastated at this and absolutely doesn't want the child to end up in care. Is it possible for a married couple to put a child up for adoption in the UK? I wouldn't think they'd be able to do it from here in Ireland but if they moved over to England would it even be possible or are the laws similar to here?

thumbwitch Sat 12-Mar-11 14:03:25

Could you take the child? it would be your niece or nephew, wouldn't it? or the grandparents? Why does the child have to go outside the family?

I'm sorry I don't know the answer to your question but am quite shock and that it's necessary and trying very hard not to be judgey but failing quite badly.blush

jay002 Sat 12-Mar-11 14:09:34

I can't take the child and there's no other extended family to take the child either.

thumbwitch Sat 12-Mar-11 14:11:52

Well I hope someone can answer your question then.
Would it really be so bad for your DB and SIL to bring up their own child? Are they drug users or something? trying to think of sane reasons why they would be unable to do so.

Maryz Sat 12-Mar-11 14:12:08

Yes it is possible in England. It isn't in Ireland, which is an absolute disgrace shock. Childen spend their whole lives in care sad. I suspect, though, that voluntary placement for adoption is unusual, so they would have to be very sure of what they wanted. It would also be easier if she gave birth in the UK, as if she has the baby here it would be more difficult - she would have to take it home from the hospital, and then move, which would be awful for them all.

I'm not going to ask why, or persuade you otherwise - I am sure these are things she is also thinking about. I would warn you, though, that if she tries to place the baby privately it will all end in tears. Sometimes people try to place a baby with friends who want a baby, but that won't work, adoption will never be legally formalised, so the only option is for a family member to long-term foster (without being an official fosterer, so they wouldn't normally get any allowance, for example).

The only way to fiddle the system would be for her to say that the baby isn't her husbands and that she doesn't know who the father is (I know a case where someone did that), which is appalling but allows the baby to go for adoption.

She needs to think very carefully about this, and she needs to be very careful who she talks to. Unfortunately very few people understand the wish to relinquish a child, so she is likely to receive a lot of negative comment.

RumpelstiltskinsHat Sat 12-Mar-11 14:12:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RipVanLilka Sat 12-Mar-11 14:42:50

I am appalled at that law! Way to make a statement about unmarried mothers shock Being able to parent a child or not is nothing to do with marital status!

I would not recommend fiddling the system though. As hard as the situation is, the child will have to live with what happens in the coming months, and it isn't right for the child to grow up being told one thing, only to find out it was lies later. Also agree with maryz, a prvate arrangement isn't likely to end well.

If they are absolutely certain adoption is right, then is it legal to cross the border into UK and give birth there?

melvinscomment Sat 12-Mar-11 14:43:38

Perhaps the situation in Ireland is related to contraception and abortion being disapproved of, if that is in fact the case in practice? Perhaps adoption of the child of a married couple is also disapproved of because it is seen as the duty of the parents to raise their child?

Maryz Sat 12-Mar-11 14:49:18

It is nothing to do with ability to parent Lilka. It is that the rights of the family is enshrined in the Irish Constitution, and for some reason the rights of a married couple to their children can't be revoked, either by the couple or the state.

So children born inside a marriage can't be assigned new parents (by adoption). Another result is that children who are abused by their parents can't be forcibly adopted - the consent of the parents is always needed, if the parents refuse consent adoptions can't go through.

So there are lots of children in long-term foster care here, some of whom will never go back to their families. There are no children available for adoption in Ireland apart from the half a dozen or so who are relinquished at birth every year sad. The rest are fostered (if they are lucky), sadly.

I certainly don't recommend fiddling the system in any way - either lying about the father or by trying to do it privately. It will definitely all go belly-up shock. I'm just saying that some parents are left with what they feel is no option.

The only way this will change is by a referendum to change the Irish Constitution, which was something they were discussing when we first tried to adopt in 1989! Since then, there has been no progress whatsoever.

Maryz Sat 12-Mar-11 14:50:32

melvin it is absolutely nothing to do with the attitude to abortion or contraception hmm. It is a legal issue.

melvinscomment Sat 12-Mar-11 14:50:35

Is it possible for a single mother to give up her child for adoption in Ireland?

QBEE Sat 12-Mar-11 14:59:14

I think that it is incredibly sad that their options are so limited because they are married.

Are you absolutely sure that no other family members will take the child? I cannot imagine turning away one of my siblings children but I have never been in that position.
Do they or the unborn child have a physical or mental impairment, is that the reason you state they are incapable?

I truly hope that this works out well for all concerned.

Maryz Sat 12-Mar-11 15:00:23

Yes it is. Because in Ireland the legal definition of a family as given in the Constitution is a married couple and their children. So somone who isn't married can sign away their parenting rights - if they wish to. No parent, married or single, can have their rights taken away forcibly.

Under law, in all real terms they are treated equally. It is just that the Consitution over-rules the law in this one particular thing, because it was drafted back in 1921 and this particular bit hasn't been updated yet.

melvinscomment Sat 12-Mar-11 15:00:28

@ Maryz :- I had already realised it is a legal issue, but there are always reasons why the law, in any country, is as it is.

RipVanLilka Sat 12-Mar-11 15:03:49

I understand now Maryz - very sad sad

I wish someone would reform the irish system as it relates to adoption and fostering. But it seems from what you've said it won't happen anytime soon

Maryz Sat 12-Mar-11 15:06:52

Every single bit of the constitution (that was drafted in 1921) has to be changed point by point by referendum which is incredibly expensive, time-consuming and difficult (you have to convince people and most people like the status quo). For every "good" result from referendum "reform" there will be a "bad" result for some people.

This part is so complex they are afraid to deal with it. Every so often proposals come out, they are kicked around for a while, and then everyone sort of gives up. sad.

melvinscomment Sat 12-Mar-11 15:07:18

@ Maryz et al :- I would think the reason why single mothers can give up a child are fairly obvious. I don't think the situation re married couples will have much to do with the Constitution as such, apart from being in the Constitution. Anyway, good luck with getting the Constitution changed, if that is in fact what you want to do.

Maryz Sat 12-Mar-11 15:22:53

For God's sake Melvin are you stupid. Of course the situation with married couples is to do with the Consitution. It's IN the fucking Consitution. And, no I'm not trying to change the Constitution, I'm just telling you what it says.

Now will you just stop talking about things you know nothing about. You are really pissing me off.

Go away and have your own private games wherever you like. Stop being so pedantic with your views that are just plain WRONG. And by the way will you stop upsetting people. I don't know what your agenda is, but grow up and piss off.

Checkmate Sat 12-Mar-11 15:31:41

OP - I think its potentially very brave and selfless of them to consider adoption. I say this as a former foster carer, who has seen the horrible impact on children of being looked after by parents who aren't capable of it. I wish we had more of the US approach to adoption here, with pregnant women able to really consider adoption is a viable option alongside termination,

I wonder whether contacting one of the UK based adoption charities directly would be a good approach? Receiving counseling, and then being matched with prospective adopters that way?

melvinscomment Sat 12-Mar-11 15:32:14

@ Maryz :- Is being pedantic a crime these days?

bran Sat 12-Mar-11 15:51:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

melvinscomment Sat 12-Mar-11 15:53:25

@ Checkmate :- I think the married couple in question will find it a lot more difficult to avoid Irish law than simply contacting a UK adoption charity. Anyone in doubt, could try avoiding UK adoption law by eg travelling to Ireland and see how that works out.

bran Sat 12-Mar-11 15:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

melvinscomment Sat 12-Mar-11 16:03:36

@ bran :- The same comments about "avoiding" Irish adoption law apply to you as well.

Checkmate Sat 12-Mar-11 16:10:04

melvinscomment - You clearly know nothing about Irish adoption law (other than what you've just learned from Maryz) so I don't think you're the right one to judge whether a UK adoption agency will be able to help. Either way, its only a phone call.

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