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I'm confused about what happens at court.

(11 Posts)
luckylucky24 Wed 05-Apr-17 13:12:23

Can anyone help?

We were told that DD's birth father is contesting. DH rang the court today to see what time and was told BM is contesting too! SW have not told us this. Not sure why!
They also told him it was just a hearing so the order wont be granted then. We were led to believe the judge would consider the evidence and either dismiss parents and grant the order or request further investigation.
Does anyone know?

sweetchilli77 Wed 05-Apr-17 13:54:40

birth parents are inited to all court dates apart from your celebration day. Its very common for them to contest, and it does sometimes delay things however a lot of the time the court just entertains them because they have too, it doesn't aways mean they will be successful.

Ours went like this
1st court date: just goes through paper work and makes sure everything is in order.
2nd court date, Judge reads the order out and will then give a date for final court hearing.
3rd court date, adoption order granted and short birth certificates get sent out
Celebration day normally about 21 days after final hearing.

Its all a bit confusing if there is a spanner in the works but your SW should be keeping you updated and supported. Id give them a ring for a breakdown of whats going on

luckylucky24 Wed 05-Apr-17 14:41:15

Thanks. I have just emailed my SW and asked what is going on.
I believe they had one hearing when the date was set and paperwork reviewed so this is the second. This has not been explained properly at all by our LA despite them putting on a "legal workshop" to explain procedures. They never bothered to cover this bit!

Bingybongboo Wed 05-Apr-17 14:54:23

We were contested too. Went on for months sadly despite it never realistically happening it is a horrible time. Social workers never actually told us birth parents contested as it's " their right" so basically get on with it. I hope you get more support from your sw than we did. It was such a relief when bm never actually turned up to the 3rd hearing as it was granted there and then.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 05-Apr-17 15:07:40

Some investigation will definitely happen with parents contesting- it will probably slow things down a bit, but the process is very variable in length anyway. I think the BPs can still appeal the initial order, slowing things down again.

As chilli says, 3 court dates is pretty standard to allow time for investigations to occur. In our case it was about trying to find BPs, in yours it will be about looking at their evidence. There can be significant delays between them. It is frustrating knowing that there's a theoretical chance of return to BPs- but in practice it is incredibly rare.

We found the court were a better source of info than the SW. If fact with no. 2 we had to ring SW to chase them to do things the court had asked for. A bit of polite nagging does no harm.

luckylucky24 Wed 05-Apr-17 15:34:24

Thanks ladies. SW has replied to say they have nothing from mum but it is unlikely the order will be granted next week.
I assume they take criminal records into account when looking at paperwork? We stumbled across an article about BD the other day regarding his latest crime.

luckylucky24 Wed 05-Apr-17 19:29:56

I am quite upset about all this today.
It feels like SW have purposely mislead us at every step. They should have told us how this works and been honest rather than painting a rosy picture. They have known for months that dad was contesting but have still said things like "This should be our last statutory visit if all goes well". If they knew this was unlikely to be the case why say such things. They have done this SOOOOO many times. I don't understand why they cannot just say it how it is so we can prepare for it rather than be constantly disappointed.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 05-Apr-17 19:53:40

"Thanks ladies." and gents :-)

"It feels like SW have purposely mislead us at every step." Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

The bureaucracy of the family court will grind through this process at its own pace. It will take longer than it should, but the great comfort is that the UK adoption legal framework is actually very good and it will get to the right decision in the end. The healthy way to handle this is to assume DC is yours now and just smile through it all.

Now I'm crap at that. I had a bag packed and a list of countries without extradition by month 6 of waiting. I got very shirty with the SWs. You can afford to pester and chase them- you don't need to be as fluffy anymore. But the suggestion above is much easier if you can do it.

Either way- chin up chuck, you are on the home straight now.

luckylucky24 Wed 05-Apr-17 20:09:33

Now I'm crap at that. I had a bag packed and a list of countries without extradition by month 6 of waiting. I got very shirty with the SWs. You can afford to pester and chase them- you don't need to be as fluffy anymore. But the suggestion above is much easier if you can do it.

This made me smile, thank you.
I wish we could assume she was ours but she will have to start nursery in the next few months and would like to go away this summer. Such things require SS permission which serves to remind us that she is not all ours. Depressing.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 05-Apr-17 22:25:22

"Such things require SS permission which serves to remind us that she is not all ours."

Do they? Or what? Inform the SWs, don't ask permission.

Kid is placed, you have application in- the SWs can't do more than monitor and report to the court, and they will certainly not be wanting to create problems or more work. I'm not suggesting you do anything daft, just reframe the way you think about these things.

Keep smiling, in a few months this bit will be a hazy memory.

Rosieandtim Thu 06-Apr-17 08:22:21

I agree. I never asked permission. The SWs are so busy, that when a child is safely placed, they couldn't care less what you do.

I tried to inform one that a child was in hospital. Technically, I cannot consent to treatment. Well over a week later, SW rang to find out if kid was OK. Luckily, doctors just treat.

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