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Monumental cock-up. Not sure what to do about it and would appreciate advice please

(8 Posts)
topbannana Tue 16-Oct-12 10:29:29

Yesterday we were due in court with DS(8) for the final hearing about DH's application for step-parent adoption. We were told that there was only need for us to attend the celebration hearing later on. DS was told to bring his camera (not normally allowed in court) The SW assured DS that it was all OK and would go ahead when he expressed worry about it. All of this was very positive and DS was wild with excitement on Sunday night.
A couple of phonecalls on the way to court alerted us that there COULD be a problem as "some paperwork" was missing.
It turns out that Royal Mail has lost (and accepted responsibility for) my consent forms, not really a problem as I could sign a new set in court. It then transpired that the CAFCAS worker (who was bloody useless and already had my back up) had not obtained DS's birth fathers consent hmm Therefore there was no way the order could be made (the SW had his consent but not CAFCAS and the courts will only accept consent witnessed by CAFCAS)
In fairness to the SW and the court staff, they were as helpful and apologetic as it was possible to be, but this does not alter the fact that we now have to wait until December for an available date. DS was inconsolable sad
The following day, I am unsure what to do. DS is now resigned to things and is coping well all things considered, but the idea of this happening to another family is awful. DH wants to just leave it, but I feel that we should kick up a bit of a stink about it, if nothing else so that the CAFCAS worker in question gets some proper training so she does not do this to anybody else (I shudder to imagine some of the lovely people on here who are waiting to adopt children from care going through this)
So what should I do, suck it up and keep quiet or start banging my drum? Any advice would be greatly appreciated smile

KatieMorag Tue 16-Oct-12 11:11:51

Do not complain until you have your adoption order granted. These authorities do not take kindly to people who make complaints about them.

Devora Tue 16-Oct-12 13:58:10

It goes against the grain for me, but I have to say that I would also wait until after your court hearing. And then complain. Write your letter now - so you don't forget anything - but don't send it yet.

Your poor ds. Hope you have a great celebration when you finally get there.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 16-Oct-12 16:25:23

Why would complaining that CAFCAS have fucked up cause problems to getting the order granted in .December? Genuine question

OP, really sorry for you and especially your DS. It was nerve wracking enough with our very straightforward court proceedings, never mind all this

topbannana Tue 16-Oct-12 16:32:59

Thank you, I was all for firing off one of my famous "angry letters" but may just hold fire for now smile
The missing form was not really my concern, particularly as RM had admitted that they were at fault (though I would have expected it to come to light earlier than at the start of the hearing) It was more the fact that the CAFCAS officer simply assumed that the SW's consent form was acceptable when it was not. Surely this was her job to know? I was unhappy with her conduct before this but now angry
I'm not too sure what I hoped to achieve from complaining as we had our fair share of apologies yesterday I just feel that it is something that cannot be allowed to go unraised. If you imagine it is an 8 yr old child who has come from care and is desperate to finally, legally have a family it does not bear thinking about hmm

Lilka Tue 16-Oct-12 18:21:54

I am so sorry banana, poor DS (and all of you)

It was absolutely her job to know, and she most certainly should have known. Cafcass always always have to witness the signing of specific consent forms for adoption, to be honest I'm astounded she didn't know (even I know that, and I've never been involved in an adoption needing cosnent forms done). Cafcass have entire guidance documents about getting consent witnessed, easily accessible (on Google even!)

I would probably wait for finalisation then complain. I would wait just because complaining can put people's backs up, which is not desirable when you still need quite close dealings with them for a couple of months

In a couple of months this will be done and dusted and you can move forwards as a fully legal family, keep focussing on that

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 16-Oct-12 21:33:45

Even though it riles me no end when professionals don't really know what they're doing, I'm reminded of something one of the SW dealing with DD commented on. She pointed out that this was the first adoption she had done with the new forms (which were at least 3 years old, I think), so they had changed from last time she did an adoption. something like 3500 adoptions a year means that most SW (and other associated professionals) just don't do the process often enough to become really competent.

Probably even more reason why their short fallings need to be pointed out...

Kewcumber Wed 17-Oct-12 12:38:06

as families said most social workers really don't do enough adoptions to know whats required (though you would think they could read it up for the occasion wouldn't you hmm) I was lucky that I had a social worker who only did intercountry adoptions and she knew more than the solicitor and the guardian put together! Luckily the judge was very clued up too.

I'm afraid I too would shut up until after the final hearing, then write and complain (not sadly that I think it will have any effect).

Make sure you have written consent from teh judge to bring a camera in otherwise you may be forced to leave it at reception.

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