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Legal Representation for getting AO

(21 Posts)
crackerjack00 Wed 21-Jan-15 11:20:21

Hi

Did anyone (in the UK where it's not the norm) have their own legal representation while applying for the adoption order? (I don't mean the children/placing LA - I mean the adoptive parents?)

If so, can I ask why, i.e. what circumstances led to this being required? And was it very expensive?

Many thanks

MyNameIsFled Thu 22-Jan-15 13:20:50

They mentioned this in prep groups about non-contested adoption and how we would have to provide our own legal representation. There is a firm of solicitors/lawyers in the nearby city who are recommended as adoption specialists and do nearly all the adoption work in the area. I don't know exactly how much they charge but from what the SW was saying it was a couple of thousand and was on a payment plan. We are in Scotland in case that makes a difference

KristinaM Thu 22-Jan-15 19:28:23

Yes I did

It was for a hard to place child and the local authority paid for it

Sorry I don't know how much it was.

crackerjack00 Fri 23-Jan-15 14:25:11

Ok thank you.

The reason I ask is because it has been strongly suggested by an agency specialising in PAS support to us to ensure a 'cast iron post adoption support plan'.

I'm trying to understand if I need to seriously look into it....

Mama1980 Fri 23-Jan-15 15:37:47

Yes I did my adoption of my youngest was unusual and did not follow the 'normal' pattern and because there were other legal factors to consider.
I don't have an exact figure but about £1500 I think.
Fwiw I could have had it paid but as I am able to I wanted the autonomy of choosing for myself.

KristinaM Fri 23-Jan-15 21:13:14

I also had a post adoption support plan . It covered things like respite and therapy

PelicanBriefs Thu 29-Jan-15 16:22:27

I think it's a good plan, and really it ought to be recommended to all adopters. After all, otherwise prospective adopters become the only ones without legal advice in the process - the LA have their legal team, and birth families are offered independent legal support.

crackerjack00 Thu 29-Jan-15 16:57:41

Thank you.

I will have a look into it.

floatyjosmum Thu 29-Jan-15 20:51:11

In theory you shouldn't need legal advice unless it is contested.

Whatutalkinboutwillis Fri 30-Jan-15 09:44:07

I am in Scotland too and have just adopted through our LA. They paid for our legal expenses. Ours should have been straight forward but we got a shock on adoption order day when bm turned up in court. I am eternally greatful we had legal representation that day as our lawyer took care of everything. Her quote was £500 but I know the final bill exceeded that due to some complications but not sure how much.

odyssey2001 Fri 30-Jan-15 12:26:36

But surely you would only need it if the order was contested. Otherwise it is just a waste of money. However, if birth parents contest and there is another hearing, then legal representation makes a lot of sense.

Jamfilter Fri 30-Jan-15 12:41:58

Unless you have been supplied with copies of all the court paperwork for the care order and placement order etc, and are satisfied that these are all accurate and without error, I think sometimes getting an independent legal view is worth considering. Otherwise, the application for the adoption order is done somewhat blind, without anyone auditing the previous process and ensuring (so far as is possible) that there are no openings for future challenges.

testing111 Fri 30-Jan-15 15:13:56

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testing111 Fri 30-Jan-15 15:15:38

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floatyjosmum Fri 30-Jan-15 19:08:33

The only thing I can imagine that the are able to do is advise you and help with the form - your sw and child's sw are the people that would have the info for the form .
The solicitor wouldn't have access to the care proceedings work as you weren't party to the proceedings and you wouldn't be able to use sone one who represented a birth parent .

If they do contest the adoption they don't have to get legal advice prior to the court date - they can turn up on their own

crackerjack00 Fri 30-Jan-15 19:21:37

The BM has applied for leave to contest and that is going through the system now (statements being prepared etc)

However, that's not why we were advised to seek legal representation. We were advised to consider it in order to get a 'cast iron post adoption support plan'

I'm presuming the vast majority of adoptive parents don't have legal representation in order to secure this, so was just gleaning thoughts and experience.

Thanks so much for all your replies. Much appreciated.

floatyjosmum Sun 01-Feb-15 16:43:10

Post adoption support should be something that is reassessed over time and unless it's an interagency placement where there will be financial implications it should be straight forward.
In theory your sw shold ask for any additional support that you think you will require and the childs sw should be ensuring all areas are covered by the plan

KristinaM Mon 02-Feb-15 09:58:19

I am amazed at your comments , floatyjoesmum . I have never heard of an adoptive family who found getting post adoption support " straightforward "

This board is full of adoptive parents who are on their knees DESPERATE for support and help for their very needy , damaged and disturbed children . I know of many marriages that have ended and placements disrupted because of lack of appropriate post adoption support

So I'd love to know what agency you used and what post adoption suport you were able to secure for your child and how you got that without a legal agreement .

floatyjosmum Mon 02-Feb-15 12:47:51

What I was trying to say was that a child's needs will change over time and therefore the support plan will need to be reviewed on a number of occasions prior to a child turning 18 and legal input each time sounds unnecessar.

I am aware of a number of adopters who have positive on going support including training and therapy

KristinaM Mon 02-Feb-15 13:45:58

I know of some who have good post adoption support too - but getting it wasn't straightforward .

The best time for legal input is before the adoption order is granted .

Floatyjoesmum - Could you say more about how you got support for your child so easily ? How was the SW able to assess your child's needs over time ? Did they work with a multi disciplnary team ? How did they liase with other agencies, such as health and education ?

KristinaM Mon 02-Feb-15 13:46:58

BTW I think we are all agreed that a childs needs will change over time

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