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Complicated overseas adoption situation - would appreciate advice!

(6 Posts)
littlepinkchair Wed 21-Jan-15 09:06:45

Sorry - this is going to be a long one but would really appreciate if anyone has any advice!

We've been living in China for many years and about 4 years ago applied to adopt here. Through various reasons (China stopping matching children for expats, Brits not being able to access special needs adoptions here at the time, me getting pregnant and having another birth child so sibling spacing rules came into play) it's taken us until now to be in a position where they are likely to find us a match in the next few months (of course never guaranteed but they do seem very positive at the moment!).

So this was great and we are very excited..... except my husband has just been told he's being made redundant and we're moving back to the UK (overall the redundancy is really really positive and we're ok financially and will actually give us a lot more stability etc so that's not the issue).

We've checked with China and they don't care where we live as long as the UK will give the child a passport. But according to the UK legislation, if you adopt from overseas while an expat, you're not supposed to come back to live in the UK for a year after the adoption has been finalised. I believe this is to stop people going abroad purely to avoid the British system - obviously that's not the case for us but nonetheless the rule applies.

So from my reading of the rules (here if anyone is interested!) if we do come back to the UK within the year we have to:

"(a)to apply to an adoption agency (including a Scottish or Northern Irish adoption agency) in the prescribed manner for an assessment of his suitability to adopt the child, and

(b)to give the agency any information it may require for the purpose of the assessment."

So my reading of that is that we would have to have another home study and jump through some hoops with the authorities - all fine - whatever we have to do.

Now to my questions,
has anyone ever heard of this situation before?
What kind of other things do you think they could make us do? Would it have to be a full application and how long does that take? do you choose an adoption agency close to your home or are there any particularly good ones?
Who on earth do I ask about this? Everything I've read has been related to either UK adoptions or UK to abroad adoptions so we're not covered so I've no idea who to even ask!

Any ideas would be gratefully received! (and thank you if you read this far!)

Kewcumber Wed 21-Jan-15 11:00:24

Is the rule a hard and fast one of 1 year as it used to be at the discretion of the Embassy issuing the passport (this may have changed). Can you ask the Embassy if you would get a passport anyway. How long will you be in China after adopting?

Kewcumber Wed 21-Jan-15 11:03:36

I've just read your link - I think it says that it only applies to non-convention countries in section 2. China is a convention country now and therefore I assume provided that you complied with all CHinese regulations that you can apply for a passport for a child adopted in a convention country immediately (am no expert!)

Talk to the Embassy, I believe that a China adoption cert is valid in the UK (as they are a convention country) and you do not need to readopt in the UK so I don;t see why you couldn't get a passport immediately.

littlepinkchair Fri 23-Jan-15 07:19:49

Thanks for your reply kewcumber. I'm struggling to get any answers out of the embassy so thought I'd see if I could approach from the uk end! They seem to have centralized everything so that all they can answer is standard faqs..... And we're not exactly a standard case grin I thought that about the link but in all the paperwork I've had on the adoption it's said that we had to be out of the uk for a fixed 12 months. At this rate we may even be in the uk by the time they find is a match. China has said they don't care as long as the uk give a passport so they won't remove us from the list even if we're back in the uk.
I wondered that about the convention too but everything had said "have to be out of the country for a year". Our social worker is American so not hugely helpful on uk stuff.
I think the next port of call will be an international adoption lawyer who can hopefully tell me we're doing anything wrong by continuing In the process (as far as we're concerned though, not continuing is not an option - we just don't know how to do it right!)
Anyone know a good adoption lawyer in the uk??

Tangerineandturquoise Sat 24-Jan-15 17:08:32

These days you can directly instruct some barristers for advice, and this may be one of those situations
These chambers are well thought of the link also covers international adoption advice.
It may be worth calling the clerks on Monday if nothing else they might be able to point you towards a firm of solicitors who can advise

littlepinkchair Tue 27-Jan-15 04:21:52

Thank you Tangerine - I hadn't thought about going straight to a barrister. I've got a call in with a firm of solicitors at the moment - waiting to hear back from them but if they can't help I'll try your idea. thanks.

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