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Court fees for AO

(33 Posts)
luckylucky24 Sat 05-Nov-16 19:44:34

We found out from fellow adopters from our prep course today that we have to pay £250 court fees for the AO to go to court.

Has anyone else had to pay this?
DH is fuming and saying it is deception as they have never mentioned this before. He is talking about instructing a solicitor for advice?

In our case we have been told to expect both parents to contest - separately. This could be another two sets of fees! Do we pay for them too??

bambino2014 Sat 05-Nov-16 20:19:19

When we asked ss told us the LA pay. Which LA are u?

awcws3192 Sat 05-Nov-16 20:23:12

We've had to pay £170 but birth parents aren't contesting so don't know if that makes a difference. Wish our LA paid too bambino2014!

RatherBeIndoors Sat 05-Nov-16 20:24:08

Talk to your SW and make sure you're getting the right info - it's a while ago but I think the deal was that because it's an application by adopters, not by LA, the court payment had to come from the adopters - but I then sent the receipt to my SW and the LA reimbursed me.

There was also a written agreement set out at the time of placement, I think given to me during intro planning meeting, stating the LA would cover legal costs in the event any order was contested. Did you get any similar paperwork?

monkeytoad35 Sat 05-Nov-16 20:34:23

Our court fee was £170 too which our LA are going to reimburse us. It's worth double checking with your SW though as it sounds you may have been told incorrect information!

Hels20 Sat 05-Nov-16 20:43:08

We had to pay. They don't tell you any time before. It's ridiculous they don't pay it.

luckylucky24 Sat 05-Nov-16 20:46:34

We are with a LA in the north west. I think the info is accurate as these are people currently applying and so not out of date info.
At panel they didn't even have budget to offer us a brewhmm they are very low on funds so not a surprise that they won't pay it but I am pissed they never mentioned it.

user1471555041 Sat 05-Nov-16 21:03:56

When we asked our LA they said it's £170. We have to pay and they will reimburse us.

Maiyakat Sat 05-Nov-16 21:56:57

I had to pay and was reimbursed by the LA. I don't think birth parents contesting will make any difference to what you pay - the fee is to apply for the adoption order, any legal issues after that will be dealt with by the lawyers for the LA.

tinks269 Sun 06-Nov-16 12:51:53

£170 for us too except we were not reimbursed as it was out of county. We were told this at the start of introductions. The fee for us wouldn't have gone up if it had been contested as our fee was for registering the paperwork not the fee for getting it through the whole process and signed (if that makes sense).

flapjackfairy Sun 06-Nov-16 19:12:56

The la lodged papers and paid all costs!

JustHappy3 Sun 06-Nov-16 20:03:17

£170 for us. We paid and got reimbursed.

CheeseAtFourpence Sun 06-Nov-16 20:26:38

We didn't get reimbursed for anything including court fees (and no mention of these until we made the application). In fact DD's SW made a huge deal at our intros planning meeting of saying we wouldn't get anything for DD because she was a baby and babies didn't need anything hmm.

bostonkremekrazy Sun 06-Nov-16 22:16:03

£170 paid by us.....3 times so far!

luckylucky24 Mon 07-Nov-16 06:45:11

Boston, why have you paid 3 times?

bostonkremekrazy Mon 07-Nov-16 07:49:36

We have adopted 3 children so far.
You wont pay more if birth parents contest lucky, the fee is a one off payment to cover the cost if the childs adoption. The cost of other legal proceedings are covrered by the state.

Rainatnight Mon 07-Nov-16 08:48:55

OP, it's definitely worth checking with your LA direct to find out what the story is. And you could have a sensible conversation with them saying that lots of other LAs pay, so is there any room for manoeuvre?

It's definitely worth your DH finding ways to chill about this though. I don't know where you are on your 'journey', but adoption is massively frustrating and things will go wrong all the time. You really can't be in a place where your DH threatens legal action every time he comes across something he doesn't like.

And I say this with your best interests at heart - you need to keep your LA onside.

luckylucky24 Mon 07-Nov-16 10:00:03

Thanks rain. We are 5 weeks into placement. I think this is why he is so frustrated. Not even when discussing the child, at intros or even at the stat review she had 2 weeks ago did anyone mention these fees. They are going to expect us to file between now and January which is the most expensive time of year and yet didn't think it was a good idea to prepare us for such a fee?

RatherBeIndoors Mon 07-Nov-16 12:10:58

But it's totally up to you when you file - I waited months and months extra, because I wasn't prepared to file until I had a full support plan set out in writing with who was responsible for what. I knew I'd have eff all leverage as soon as the AO was through grin. I did it all with a fixed smile on my face and lots of earnest statements about how I was sure we all only wanted to work together to agree what was best for LO, didn't we?

As PPs said, it is definitely worth keeping the LA onside in case you need them later on, and trying not to let the process get to you too much (easier said than done). I hope all goes well for you.

bostonkremekrazy Mon 07-Nov-16 14:03:01

lucky - you cannot put the papers in for at least 10 weeks post placement - most LA's ask you to wait until after the 12 week review. So I would expect you to be putting the papers into the court after Christmas. There are sections the sw have to complete so often they come out and do it with you, and you simply sign and give the cheque. (the forms ask for details of BPs addresses etc, and sibling details etc that you probably won't know)

There is no rush though, unless the SW have already asked you? most people do it after a few months when everything is settled.

The fees are often not mentioned because it is a completely normal part of adoption which maybe its assumed you know about - its unusual for LA's to pay these days, with budget cuts etc...

grumpymcgrumpypants Mon 07-Nov-16 14:31:39

It says in our report for matching panel that the LA will pay this for us. I'm
holding them to it! wink

I do wonder what would happen if neither agreed to pay, and you just sat on your hands? At what point would the LA back down? After all, they want that AO through, almost as much as you do. They want the child no longer LAC. Being a LAC costs them money in visits, medicals etc.

If you politely said 'we will apply, of course, as we want everything sorted for LO. However, this is an expensive time of year, and we never expected to have to find this fee ourselves, while finances are tight on adoption leave. We will have to wait until finances allow."

They're not going to take the child away because you delay applying for the AO for a couple of months for financial reasons.

You may even find they find the funds somehow!

I keep saying- adopters are a fucking bargain to society. A bargain. £200 odd quid is a drop in the ocean compared to foster care for the LA. Damn right they should pay.

bostonkremekrazy Mon 07-Nov-16 19:26:10

grumpy - while the AO hasn't been granted the child 'belongs' to the LA. They can of course at any point during a review decide that if the AO is not to be applied for then the child deserves to be adopted and they CAN remove the child. A PO usually only last 2 years so that timeframe must also be kept in mind.
Obviously waiting a few months is never a problem - we waited a year until an appopriate support package was agreed for one of ours, but SW knew why etc....

grumpymcgrumpypants Mon 07-Nov-16 19:38:20

I know that.

But legally removing a happy, well cared for child? Legally a grey area, I'd say, but pursuing that would definitely cost more than an AO application!

I wasn't meaning delay forever. But it's in the LA's interests to get the AO applied for, as much as yours. So if neither of you expected to pay it, I would think there is room for negotiation. Or delay until you can afford it, no one would bat an eye at a couple of months.

grumpymcgrumpypants Mon 07-Nov-16 19:40:55

I think the IRO should have something to say if a child was being disrupted because the LA refused to pay £200.

The foster care while family finding would be more than that!

I know as adopters we feel on the back foot. But we shouldn't.

MintyLizzy9 Sat 03-Dec-16 05:31:28

OP I adopted via a cash strapped LA in a similar area and they paid the fee. I didn't even have to reclaim it. They provided a letter that was included with the application detailing which cost centre the costs should be paid from and a copy also went to the LA finance team to arrange a direct payment. LA didn't pay medical fees though so swings and roundabouts.

However, getting money out of them post AO (for therapy for DS) is proving to be impossible!

Congratulations btw! 5 weeks in I was exhausted still am a year on!! hope everyone is doing ok. Last Christmas was my first with DS and was wonderful, had to keep it low key as he came home in early December but fear I've gone completely over the top this year fsmile

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