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Adopting a foreign grandchild who is resident with us in UK and whom we have always looked after

(5 Posts)
user1478551211 Mon 07-Nov-16 20:50:35

My wife and I would like to adopt our 12-year-old grandchild (my step-grandchild and my wife’s grandchild). The child and his mother are Indonesian but resident with us in UK. Here is our situation

I am British by birth and my wife is Indonesian. We married in Indonesia (where I was an expatriate teacher) in 2003. We have now been resident in the UK for over one year, since relocating here in 2015. The birth mother (our daughter) and the child in question are both Indonesian but also live together with us in Sussex.

When I married my wife, she already had a daughter from a previous marriage. I took immediate responsibility for her. Within months of our marriage, it transpired my step-daughter was pregnant through teenage misadventure. Her boyfriend and she were married quickly in order for the child to be born in wedlock (normal practice in Indonesia). Once the child had been born (Sep 2004), the marriage was quickly and legally dissolved.

Since their divorce (only months after the birth), the Indonesian birth father has had no contact with, played no role in or made no contribution to the child’s upbringing. He has since remarried and has children of his own. My step-daughter was awarded with sole responsibility by Indonesian court.

My wife and I, my step-daughter and her child have always lived together since the child’s birth. My wife and I have co-raised the child with my step-daughter and, as a young single parent and very low wage earner, she has always depended on us to provide fully for the child’s welfare and best interests. I have acted as the child’s de facto parent, sole father figure and main provider for his emotional and material needs (eg health care, schooling in private schools where I have taught and foreign holidays ). I have been designated legal guardian by Indonesian court order. My wife has always acted as the child’s “second mum”. Adoption would effectively formalise a reality that has always existed.

The child has been raised since birth as de facto twin brother to our own son, who was born only 9 months later and (as my biological son) has British citizenship. The two boys are inseparable and highly emotionally dependent on each other, always attending the same schools, sharing the same bedroom and being treated and loved equally in every sense.

Both children have been students at independent school in Sussex for over one academic year and since arriving in the UK for that purpose. My step-grandchild has a child student visa. My wife has resident status in the UK and is on track for permanent residency and eventually, citizenship.

My step-daughter fully agrees to our plans to adopt her son. We have no intention of severing the substantive link between the two and will always strive for her to remain an integral part of his life. However, we plan for both boys to continue their schooling in the UK for the long term and see it as vital that, being so emotionally dependent on each other, and on my wife and I, they remain together. As a non-EU citizen my step-daughter is at the mercy of an increasingly tough immigration regime and dependent on the granting of tourist visas for short and infrequent visits and, while here, unable to work and prone to depression and home-sickness. As such, she feels that aspects of her future are precarious and not conducive to the planning for the child’s best interests and long-term future, which would be safe-guarded by an adoptive status.

So grateful for any help you can be.

luckylucky24 Mon 07-Nov-16 21:04:55

From my own (limited) experience, in the UK SS would not let you adopt your grandchild as this would be very confusing for them. They would grant a special Guardianship order which would give you parental responsibility.

luckylucky24 Mon 07-Nov-16 21:06:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

grumpymcgrumpypants Mon 07-Nov-16 23:50:19

You could possibly apply for PR.

I don't know whether having PR would affect citizenship.

I don't think SWs would see this as an adoption scenario. The child has a mother, who they live with. You say yourself you don't want to sever that. Adoption is exactly that, a severing and remaking of family ties.

It reads like you wish to adopt him for immigration reasons. I would imagine that will be problematic. It's not what UK adoption laws are designed for.

I empathise with the difficult situation regarding visas etc, but I doubt adoption will be the solution you hope.

Please contact social services and discuss it, but from what you've said, adoption would not be appropriate.

Italiangreyhound Wed 09-Nov-16 01:36:05

user1478551211 I really hope you have changed some details as this is way too much personal information about the child to share on an forum like this (IMHO).

I can understand your concerns and I think you should look to address these legally, see what can be done. An ideal scenario would possibly see your step-daughter made a legal citizen and your grandchild?

In some way the close relationship you describe between the boys sounds lovely but in another sense I think it must be confusing, they are not brothers but uncle and nephew.

As well as looking into the legalities of this I would also wonder about counselling, particularly for your step daughter "prone to depression and home-sickness".

It does sound quite a precarious situation and you are right to address it. But please do think about how much you post which is unique/identifying.

All the best, smile

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