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I salute you

(7 Posts)
LastingLight Fri 07-Mar-14 10:36:46

I just want to salute all of you who have adopted older children and dealt (or are dealing) with all the problems related to early abuse and neglect. Our adoption wasn't typical so I'm not part of an adoption community here in South Africa, but my perception is that here it is mostly babies who are adopted. Reading this board has really opened my eyes to the challenges older children face when they are adopted.

Italiangreyhound Fri 07-Mar-14 19:06:34

What would you class as an older child in south Africa, Lastinglight.

So nice to have an international element!

LastingLight Fri 07-Mar-14 19:51:15

That's a good question Italian... I don't really know. For me personally an older child is anybody more than a couple of months old. I will see if I can get hold of some adoption statistics for SA. What I can tell you is that most of the children available for adoption here are black, and adoption is not really part of African culture so there are an increasing number of trans-racial adoptions. We also have a 60 day period after the biological parent(s) gave consent for the adoption, during which time they can withdraw the consent. How does that work in the UK?

OneOfOurLilkasIsMissing Fri 07-Mar-14 22:55:59

That's interesting! - I'd class any child aged 0-2 as a 'baby', whether they were 2 days or 2 years old. Any child aged 5+ would definitely be an older child for me, I go back and forth on whether 4 is "older" or not. I certaninly wouldn't class a 3 year old as an older child

Anyway, thank you thanks I don't think I've done anything to be saluted for, but I'm pleased that this board is a place which is eye opening/educational. Hopefully it's also positive - there are all lots of wonderful things about older child adoption as well smile

How relinquishing a baby goes in the UK - a mother can't sign papers allowing her baby to be placed for adoption until at least 6 weeks post birth. After that, she can still change her mind. The baby would be in foster care for a while, probably a few months. If the mother changed her mind while the baby was in foster care, SS have 7 days to return the baby to her. If they thought that the baby would come to significant harm in her care, they could apply to court within those 7 days for a care order. Once the local authority have identified adoptive parents, the baby would move in with them, and would probably be somewhere 4 months + old by this time. If the birth mum changes her mind once the baby has been placed with adopters, SS have 14 days to return the baby to her. Again, if they thought the baby would come to harm with her, they could apply for a care order and placement order (this is the legal order which allows a child to be placed in the home of people who are only approved as adoptive parents) in that time.

In England/Wales, adoptive parents can apply to court for an adoption order after the child has lived with them for at least 10 weeks. Once they have put the application in, the birth mum can no longer have her baby back if she changes her mind. The birth mum would have to wait the few months until the court hearing, then oppose their adoption application in court. Chances of succes would be low at that point.

Does that make sense?

OneOfOurLilkasIsMissing Fri 07-Mar-14 23:01:22

So basically, there is no one set exact number of days every mother has to change her mind - it's 6 weeks + however long the baby is in foster care for + 10 weeks minimum in the adoptive parents care.

I knew a couple who adopted a relinquished baby who was 11 months old by that time, and online I've seen relinquished babies be even older than that when placed. In that case the birth mum had over a year to change her mind, if you add those 11 months to the 10 weeks they had their child before they could apply for the adoption order

Hopefully a relinquished baby would be placed quicker than that now, what with the emphasis on less time in care for the child (assuming the baby had few needs and was thus easy to find parents for). Some relinquished babies are placed very young (4 months +)

LastingLight Sat 08-Mar-14 06:18:31

Thanks for explaining Lilka. So adoptive parents in the UK never get a newborn? My cousin got his little boy when he was 5 days old. I may have the wrong perception about typical age at adoption here. We do have a lot (in the millions) of orphans, many due to AIDS, some of them living in child-headed households because there are simply no adults to look after them. It's heartbreaking.

OneOfOurLilkasIsMissing Sat 08-Mar-14 09:21:09

It's only possible to get a newborn if you're doing a scheme called concurrent planning, which is when you are dual approved as both an adoptive parent and a foster carer, and a baby is placed with you as a foster child. A baby will only be placed with concurrent carers if social services think it is very likely for the case to end in adoption, but there is always a risk for the carers that the baby will be returned to it's parents. However if the case does end in adoption, the carers will be the ones who adopt the baby. Concurrency is only done by certain LA's, and obviously lots of prospective adopters don't feel able to cope with the risk of losing the baby, so it's not common

If you are only approved as an adoptive parent, then yes it's impossible to get a newborn or any baby under the age of about 4/5 months really.

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