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SGO/Adoption

(39 Posts)
user1463594374 Thu 19-May-16 11:36:08

Hi.
Im looking for advice/info.
My younger sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy 6 wks ago. SW has been involved from the start. About 3 wks ago SW rang me to ask if me & my partner would be interested in applying for SG of him. Partner & i spoke about at length & agreed we would apply. Our only concern being finacial(we both work full time & have no children) so if we were granted SG i would have to go pt or stop working in order to look after him. Therefore we would need finacial help. Which we reserched online & we would likely get that help.
Yesterday SW txtd to ask if we would consider adoption of my nephew & asked us to think about adoption before they come up todo the viability(we live in Scotland my sister is still in Wiltshire). So i guess im wanting advice on a few things from people who have been through SG & Adoption first hand

Im wondering why the change from SGO to consider Adoption?
Would we be able to get finacial help if we adopted?
Why would we be asked about adoption before they have even done a viability? Does this mean SW are trying to rush this case? Or that after meeting us & after filling in the questionaire they feel we would be able to give my nephew the kind of home he needs?
My sister has said she is ok with us if SG is given to us however there has been no mention re:adoption & how she feels about this.
Were wanting whats best for my nephew. However if we go for adoption & no finacial help is granted how are we going to be able to support him & give him a good up bringing if we end up struggling finacially.
Reserch ive done on line is not very clear & also because we live in Scotland laws are very different to those down home(wiltshire) so would we/nephew be under LA down South or would it be LA here in Scotland.
Hope some one will be able to give advice. Thank you

SpookyRachel Thu 19-May-16 12:42:06

Hi user, I don't know much about SGOs or the law in Scotland, so I'm really just filling in till someone more knowledgeable comes along. But I do know about adoption, so a few comments from that perspective:

- the critical factor about adoption is that you become the full legal parents and all the responsibility for the child comes to you. So the presumption is that you sort out your own financial affairs without financial help. Having said which, financial support is sometimes available in particular circumstances. But you really need to check this out as early as possible and argue upfront that it is essential (because right now you have some leverage - they want to get your nephew settled as early as possible). Once your nephew is with you your leverage will wither rapidly. So get advice fast - adoptionuk has a helpline.

- Also think about the impact on family relationships. People sometimes find that the wider family is initially supportive because they see this as a way of somehow keeping the child with the birth mother. But if you adopt, you have to be clear that YOU are the mother - not just doing a very long babysitting job for your sister. Once your nephew is your son, his needs come first, even if that means excluding your sister from your life in ways she finds painful. Will your wider family support you in that?

- You ask why sw seem to want to push for early adoption rather than SGO. I don't know, but my guess is that it is cheaper, cleaner, and gets the child off their books. Sorry to sound cynical. Less cynically, I think a disadvantage of SGO status is that you have to share parental responsibility and that can be unsettling for everyone. Children do need to feel they 'belong' somewhere and that that is stable.

Hopefully MrsDeVere or someone knowledgeable will be along soon.

Oh, one last thing: absolutely do this if it feels right for you. There are huge advantages to keeping a child within the birth family. But if it isn't right, don't be scared to say so. I know, from experience, how difficult it is to reject a child in this kind of circumstance and how much guilt-tripping you might get from social workers and others. But it is better for a child to be adopted into a loving family that desperately wants them, than it is to be foisted onto an unprepared and ultimately resentful relative.

Finally, you're not wrong to worry about finances and this definitely needs sorting. But if you DO really want your nephew with you, then you may have to get your head round the fact that children do make you much, much poorer. Sorry! - and best of luck.

user1463594374 Thu 19-May-16 13:14:33

Thank you. We are both willing to take my nephew in & under SG we would have finacial assistance which would go a way to helping(confirmed by SW) we both did our reserch in SGO & were happy with what is expected of us & what to expect re:my nephews parents.
When SW txted re: adoption she stated that my sister & the father(seperated now) would likely still have the right to see there child. Which confused me as from reserch we had done suggested this would not be the case.
Ive looked into average cost of a baby. Without me working we would manage thou it would be a struggle.
As for what benifits we may be entitled to i have no idea as ive worked my whole life & have never had children.
As i said we were in agreement to SG but we are trying to work out if adoption would be a better option while we dont want to appear as money grabbers to SW we do need to be able to afford having my nephew.
We can & will give him all the love, attention, & stability in the world. We have looked at all possible out comes re: family ties being broken etc & are prepared for it if that should happen.We both agree that my nephew will always come first xx

tldr Thu 19-May-16 13:23:36

First, well done on starting thread. wink

Second, I'm no expert either but do you know why baby can't stay with sis? Don't say here, but it's worth knowing in case it makes a difference.

Adopters who come to adoption through the regular channels get sent on a preparation course, a large proportion of which is devoted to pointing out that children who are adopted are more likely to come with some issues.

For example, if sis has substance abuse problems has she been using/drinking whilst pregnant? Do you know about the effects these may have on DC?

Make sure you find out and do some reading. SS might be able to put you in touch with their experts. (And if you know what the issues are, you might be able to find some help here.)

Good luck with your decision. flowers

tldr Thu 19-May-16 13:26:21

Sometimes, adoption allowances are payable but they're rare and usually for harder to place children. I don't know if they'd pay one to allow a child to stay in extended family.

Tippy6312 Thu 19-May-16 13:37:15

Hi

Similar situation I can post privately if you require more info. But please be careful when they say if you go down the SGO route that you would get funding. As that was explained to us, and as we went through the process it turns out we wouldn't. Like you we were both full time workers / no children.

The reason they may be asking you about adoption is because sometimes it is preferred as it is seen to provide more security for the child long term (obviously this depends entirely on the situation).

Like tldr has said, I would think about the reasons why he has had to be removed (again you dont need to say on here) but that could be a consideration as to why they have asked for adoption over SGO.

You may get funding regardless if (like tldr) has touched on based on the needs of the child. But again that is completely situation dependant.

In the end we opted for adoption for our now son. It was the best route for him to provide him with that steady level of security / family. We do not get any funding. BM has no contact, but that was ruled out years prior to the adoption taking place (he is an older child).

I hope that makes sense / helps.

user1463594374 Thu 19-May-16 13:56:07

Thank you Tippy6312. I would be grateful for any info/advice you can give. So if your happy to pp feel free. As we are wanting know as much as poss x

user1463594374 Thu 19-May-16 14:06:06

Thank you tldr...i suprised myself lol
My sister is in her late teens thou her mental age is a good 5 yrs younger. SW feel she can not take care of ds with out 24/7 support. At present she is in a foster mum & baby placement...this was in a bid to help teach her etc. However my sister is still needing to be reminded to do basics ie support his head when holding him...not to feed him as soon as he starts to cry as it was only 1/2hr ago he was fed etc.
SW dont think she would harm in on purpose but feel his needs will be negleted with out constant reminders x

fasparent Thu 19-May-16 14:50:18

Suggest you and young mum are reffered you the new "Familey Nurse partnership www.fnp.co.uk who work and are experienced in these sitations. Will be able too work inconjunction with yourselfs,mum, fosterparents and social services too obtain the best possable ourcome, will take lots of pressure off all and have experience of all options available.

WISH YOU ALL THE BEST.

fasparent Thu 19-May-16 14:59:17

So.So Sorry got Webb address mixed up NHS Familey Nurse Partnership is www.fnp.nhs.uk

RosieandJim89 Thu 19-May-16 18:32:27

Is there a reason you would have to give up work? You can get 9 months paid adoption leave exactly as you would maternity and then it would be a cost of weighing up childcare against working.
Your nephew would be entitled to 15 free hours of childcare the term after their 2nd birthday as is the current allowance for looked after children. This would help financially and other costs like clothing and food probably come in at 200 a month for us now he is out of nappies. You would be entitled to a tax credits too if you have a look.

user1463594374 Thu 19-May-16 19:02:07

Thank you. I do need to do more reserch into adopting as we were only asked to consider this yesterday. We were thinking it would make more sense for one of us to go PT with work. We both work in the care sector so shifts vary from wk to wk so we were thinking it would be a bit more stable for my nephew....as i say nothing is set in stone...were just trying to work out what would be the best option for my nephews care. Will look into tax credits once i get off shift tomorrow.
Wiĺl also look at fnp website. Thank you every one for the advice etc. Truely grateful x

Mama1980 Thu 19-May-16 19:40:45

I have custody of my eldest by sgo her biological half sister by adoption, have to get the munchkins in bed etc But I'll be back and will post properly later.

Catvsworld Thu 19-May-16 21:58:04

Because SGOs on the whole are inaproprate for younger children they don't provide the permanacey they need they are supposed to be for older children who have had a connection with the considered family member whilest in care

There has been a lot in the news about SGOs and who wrong they are going because the sw are not ask consider if a family member can parent a child to adult hood with a sgo and many and falling though after 2,3 years as the taken on of the children ends up being more about the relationship between the family member more that the relative wanting a child

We're as adoption sw are changed with asking the question why are you taking the child on out of Loytaly and live for your sibling or because you want a raise a child to adult hood and all that comes with it as SGO you don't go though the same training and checks and adopters

And the law on this recently has changed and quite rightly so

If you in the mind of thinking that at some point your sister will have him back at some point, or she will end up being very involved in his care or that you may change your mind then sgo but for parenting a child until adulthood being his child parent witch is what he needs and permanacey for they child it's adoption

Make no mistake thought this will change the relationship you will have with your sister a possibly your wider family there will be a lot of pressure possibly for contact that you may have to with stand for his wellbeing

Good luck

Catvsworld Thu 19-May-16 22:04:03

www.communitycare.co.uk/2015/07/23/special-guardianship-orders-misused/

www.communitycare.co.uk/2015/12/17/law-special-guardianship-assessments-reformed-immediately/

www.communitycare.co.uk/2015/10/22/special-guardianship-orders-decisions-made-child-local-authority/

www.communitycare.co.uk/2016/02/09/special-guardianship-regulations-updated-strengthen-assessments/

Hope this informs you op hope you don't find me harsh just want to make sure you go into this with open eyes

Offredalba Fri 20-May-16 06:20:52

Hi
I understand that funding in this area is a bit different in Scotland. There is a whole thread about it on the adoption uk site.
This link might be helpful.

www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/protecting/lac/kinship

I hope that this works our well for you and your family.

All the best

user1463594374 Tue 24-May-16 10:48:41

Thank you every one for the links etc. Catvsworld ive not taken your words harshly & thou we both have eyes open there are bound to be things we have overlooked/not seen etc so any info positive or negative is going to give us a fuller picture of what we can expect.
Were still waiting on SW to come up & do the viability check. So were making a list of questions that need to be asked to decide on which route we will take if we pass the viability & what would be the best option for my nephew in the long run

LoolooandMoo Thu 09-Jun-16 22:22:42

Sorry I can't answer all of your questions but I have an SGO for my niece and now desperately want to adopt her. I had the same worries as you, we both worked full time and I was worried about our finances but I am now part time and we are pretty comfortable, partner is still full time. Even with me dropping half my work hours we were told we were not entitled to SGO allowance, despite the SW saying we "shouldn't be out of pocket" for doing this. I honestly wish we could have adopted right from the start. Adoption was briefly mentioned but at the time an SGO seemed the right way and recommended as my sister was still supposed to be having contact which I was encouraging but once little one came to us she never turned up to contact and has made no effort to restart. The birth parents don't have the child's best interests at heart, only their own and prefer to talk about how hard done by they have been. I don't think you go into this realising that you completely fall in love with this child and see them as your own. So just in my experience I would go down the adoption route for more security but of course it's your decision and what's best for your nephew and you.

Lookatyourwatchnow Thu 09-Jun-16 22:34:41

The social worker TEXTED you to ask that question? Professional.

Anyway, the case would be heard in the family court in Wiltshire and as such English Law would apply.

With an SGO, you are entitled to an SGO allowance, reviewed yearly to take your incomings and outgoings into account, and it more or less matches fostering allowance. If you claimed child benefits and tax credits, it would be factored into the financial assessment so the finances would drop to correlate with this.

An SGO will give you the overriding share of Parental Responsibility although mum retains a portion. You can sign consent for medical and dental treatment, choose schools, etc. basically exercise parental responsibility.

In terms of adoption, this severs all legal ties with mum. You and your partner would be mum and dad. How would this work without confusion for the child who will still grow up knowing 'birth mother'? Is it in their best interests to sever all ties? And how would this work in the context of the family dynamics. Adoption assessments are quite rightly very comprehensive and lengthy, and would likely be outside the timescales for court proceedings. The child's mother may well appeal a placement and adoption order.

Lookatyourwatchnow Thu 09-Jun-16 22:36:37

Also, the social worker asking about adoption/SGO etc at this stage is quite routine as they have to demonstrate early permanence planning - essentially considering all potential long term options for children at the onset of proceedings

Offredalba Fri 10-Jun-16 10:35:33

The birth parents don't have the child's best interests at heart, only their own and prefer to talk about how hard done by they have been

Looloo. We all form perspectives based on our own experiences, and I'm sure that you will have sound personal evidence for reaching that conclusion. I think that you will find a number of mothers posting here who very clearly have placed their child's best interests far above their own, and who do not fit this stereotype.

LoolooandMoo Sat 11-Jun-16 02:16:42

With that statement I was only referring to the birth parents of my little girl specifically, not birth parents in general, sorry if that was unclear.

Offredalba Sat 11-Jun-16 05:58:39

Yes. I see that now Looloo. Thanks for clearing it up. It seemed odd because for the OP, the concern seems to be about the mother's mental health issues and her ability, rather than willingness to care for the baby. I hope that everything works out for the best for all of you.

user1463594374 Sat 11-Jun-16 08:04:28

Thank you all. We think SGO would be better as we do see this could cause problems within the family if we went for adoption. A few family members have made passing comments about 'not seeing B if he came to live here in Scotland' ive told them that would not be the case as we would visit home more than once a year & they could come up for a visit & we would send photos etc on a regular basis(dependant on what is put in place by courts)
Mum has been put forward by my sister for GS however due to mums depression & self harming i dont think shes likely to be granted SG.The fathers 'mum' has also applied for SGO. I know nothing of his family except they had no interest in my sisters pregnacy & only now have taken an interest.
We have the viabilty checks in a few weeks times. So was wondering how long (roughly)before we would know if we have passed this first stage. We've not got a solicitor yet as we thought it would make sense if we passed this first stage.
If we get through the Viability check do things tend to speed up? Im asking as wondering how long the process takes from passing viability to possible having SGO granted. We know it depends on each case so just looking for an approx. timescale. Also if SGO is granted would we need to get the baby equipment or would the things my sister have come with B? I Know it sounds like a daft question however im trying to work out(on paper) what we would need & the cost. We want to be prepared & ready if SGO is granted to us. Thanks for taking the time to read & any advice would be helpful

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Thu 16-Jun-16 18:25:02

SGO has the benefit of maintaining ties with birth parents which is beneficial for children who have existing relationships with their birth parents. They are not suitable for new babies who do much better with permanence - new parents who will become their entire legal family - this has much better outcomes for children.
SGO financial support is means tested so not really a good reason to choose it as you will probably lose it at some point when your earnings increase.
If you are worrying about how it will impact on your relationship with the rest of the family if you adopt the baby then you aren't really thinking about the baby's needs as paramount. This is understandable but something you really need to work on.

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