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Are LAs legally bound to disclose information around birth family, e.g. Deaths/marriages/births of siblings?

(41 Posts)
user0000000001 Sun 05-Mar-17 20:28:39

As above really...

Kr1stina Sun 05-Mar-17 22:09:55

To whom ?

tldr Mon 06-Mar-17 00:20:37

They wouldn't necessarily know about them once their involvement with the family had stopped.

flapjackfairy Mon 06-Mar-17 07:25:33

Would infringe birth parents rights wouldnt it?

Kr1stina Mon 06-Mar-17 09:20:21

Do you mean to the court, when the adoption petition is being considered ? I would have thought so, if it was revelant to the courts decision.

I am confused by the words " legally bound " in your question - can you explain what you mean ?

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 09:37:39

Sorry, yes I can see that wasn't clear

I shall rephrase!

Do adoptive parents have a right (legal as opposed to moral) to be informed by social services if there are significant events in the birth family. For example death of birth mother/father, birth/death of a sibling/half sibling etc.

smythe55 Mon 06-Mar-17 12:29:15

No.

Kr1stina Mon 06-Mar-17 13:37:07

No of course not, they have no legal OR moral right. Birth families have just as much right to privacy as anyone else.

Imagine that 10 years ago your cousins child was adopted. And then your brother got married last year and your granny died. Do you think that you should be legally obliged to inform social services, and they should be legally obliged to inform the adoptive parents of your cousins biological child?

Hell no, you say, it's none of their business. We don't have to account to social services over our life choices.

Same for birth families. They are not a seperate class of people with fewer rights than everyone else, they have just as many rights as you.

I'm quite shocked that anyone would think otherwise .

donquixotedelamancha Mon 06-Mar-17 17:49:35

No, but it's good practice. Obviously its very dependent on circumstances, and certainly not automatic for the reasons described by Kristina.

Assuming SWs find out, are able to disclose, and have the inclination to contact you; they should let you know. They clearly can't just tell you personal information without permission.

More likely: this is the point of contact arrangements. Ideally you'll get something back from BF each year and major stuff will be mentioned.

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 17:52:36

Kr1stina, I'm not sure I follow you're example, but equally I'm not sure that's the same thing at all...

I'm talking about events that directly affect my adopted children and their 'identity' i.e. birth of a sibling/death of their birth mother

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 17:53:47

your

smythe55 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:04:13

You could ask in contact via letterbox. But you have this family's child, not the right to their lives forever. You don't get to know anything they haven't chosen to tell you via contact. One of the many reasons contact is a good idea.

You may find out about the birth of a Sibling if SS wished to know if they could place a sibling with you.

Otherwise, please respect the birth family's right to get on with their own private life. Adopting a child doesn't give you ownership over the birth family, or any rights regarding them.

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:13:01

Otherwise, please respect the birth family's right to get on with their own private life. Adopting a child doesn't give you ownership over the birth family, or any rights regarding them.

No I appreciate that, hence the question.... just trying to advocate for my DCs rights too.

Thanks for your thoughts, all.

Maiyakat Mon 06-Mar-17 18:22:16

I have no letterbox contact from DD's birth family as they have declined to take part in it, I think BM just finds it too difficult. However I would want to know if she had died, because I believe DD has a right to know. What if she wanted to look for BM in later life only to discover she had died years earlier and no-one had told her? I don't think there would be any legal obligation for me to be informed (and Social Services may well not be aware anyway), but if they were I believe it would be good practice to inform her birth children through their adoptive parents.

Kr1stina Mon 06-Mar-17 18:28:04

I'm sorry, but your child lost all legal rights to their birth family when you adopted them. Legally you are their family now.

You may feel that the information you want directly affects your children's identity but your feeling doesn't outweigh other people's right to privacy.

There's is also the practical issues of how on earth anyone would keep track of all births , deaths and marriages to everyone related to two individuals . And then relay that information to everyone who wanted to know. And how each of these people would be compelled to give this information to SS.

Some men have several kids over a period of years to many women scattered around the country. Some they will have relationships with, others might be ONS. How would it work for you to know about all of them?

And even if you did know, how would it help your child to know that they have, for example , 4 half siblings scattered across the country aged approximately 4-12 years but no one knows their names or anything about them ? Because he met one of them once and paid some money for another for about a year . How exactly will that help your child's identity?

What about birth mum- many women who lose babies to the system eventually sort their lives out and make a fresh start. They are able to parent another child and have no contact with SS. Why do you think you have a right to know that?

And remember of course that any such legal right would have to be reciprocal and they would have to be told details about you.

Yes it would be nice if you were in contact with the birth family and they were willing to tell you about significant events - that's one thing. But to suggest that they be legally obliged to tell SS and SS be legally obliged to tell you is draconian and an infringements of other people's rights.

I think you need to be more realistic about the uncertainty and lack of information that comes with adoption. I also think thay identity is more complex than you suggest and it's not helpful for you and your children to feel this is predicated upon you being given all the information about your children's birth families - past, present and future.

LadyandTramp Mon 06-Mar-17 18:35:19

Not legal, but depending on the circumstances of your childs adoption, it's likely that BM (and therefore future siblings) could stay on SS radar and therefore you could be informed by your adoption team about the birth of subsequent siblings.

We were recently notified by our old SW about AD's BM being pregnant again and a few months later informed us about the birth (sex and name) of another sibling.

We have also been very clear that we would want to know about future siblings.

Given many LA's encouragement of maintaining Letterbox contact, it would be in their interest to inform adopters regarding death of BP's if they have that information. I don't have personal experience of that happening but like to think it does happen.

I completely understand why you would want to know for your DC's sake, as would we.

smythe55 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:35:28

The definition of adoption is that the child legally leaves one family, and joins another. Legally, your child is nothing to do with them any more.

This is one of the downsides to adoption, and why it is done with such a heavy heart.

If both sides can keep contact, such information can be shared. But there is no legal obligation on either side, unless something unusual was added to the adoption order.

Social services may well be unaware a birth parent dies, as they would not be creating more children! Plus SS appear to be hardly managing things that are their work, without expecting them to keep lifelong tabs on birth families.

smythe55 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:37:11

What has prompted this concern? Do you know someone in the birth family is ill?

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:49:52

Gosh, lots of food for thought. I will try to reply...

And even if you did know, how would it help your child to know that they have, for example , 4 half siblings scattered across the country aged approximately 4-12 years but no one knows their names or anything about them ? Because he met one of them once and paid some money for another for about a year . How exactly will that help your child's identity?

I can't speak for your DC, but if, for example, my DCs birth mother gave birth to more children who were then removed, it would help my DC realise that it wasn't their fault that they couldn't stay with her

Or, if their BM died, it would help to hear that message from me and DH now rather than waiting until they were old enough to go looking for her and finding out she'd died 10 years before.

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:50:33

What about birth mum- many women who lose babies to the system eventually sort their lives out and make a fresh start. They are able to parent another child and have no contact with SS. Why do you think you have a right to know that?

I'm talking about events that would be known to SS, obviously.

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:51:09

I think you need to be more realistic about the uncertainty and lack of information that comes with adoption. I also think thay identity is more complex than you suggest and it's not helpful for you and your children to feel this is predicated upon you being given all the information about your children's birth families - past, present and future

hmm

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:52:28

Pressed send too soon

I know identity is complex. I know we don't get all the information (God knows, I know). Even more important then that information that does help fill in those gaps is passed on, surely?

user0000000001 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:53:58

We have also been very clear that we would want to know about future siblings.

So, my question isn't that unreasonable then (or one example contained within?)

smythe55 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:56:57

The reason SS are willing to tell you about future siblings is because they have to each time say why they can't be placed with you, in their reports. So it is nothing to do with keeping you informed, and to do with paperwork for the sibling.

If their was no thought of removing the sibling, I bet you'd hear nothing. Quite rightly.

Facebook stalking could satisfy your nosiness? But I think that way madness lies.

smythe55 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:57:30

There, not their. Argh.

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