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Does this make sense to others?

(23 Posts)
luckylucky24 Tue 11-Apr-17 17:27:03

Sorry for what is potentially another rant.

Today our case was deferred for a few weeks as DD Bfather turned up to court to contest (no sign of mum). It is so unlikely that she will be returned to him or any of his family/friends (he put forward about a dozen people to be assessed to have her before adoption was decided) that I don't see the point in allowing them to even contest.
Surely this is the case for all adoptions. They wouldn't place the child if they thought there was any chance of the child being returned so why isn't this done when the child is first put up for adoption? Surely that is the tie to contest?
I don't see who benefits at this point.
The courts are using money and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.
Adoptive parents are stressed over it.
Birth parents have some false hope that they may have child returned and most importantly, a child is still in limbo because the system dictates that this should occur.
Maybe there are cases where children are returned but they would I imagine be so few that finding one would be difficult.
Is there a reason for this madness?

flapjackfairy Tue 11-Apr-17 19:32:06

Yes it is part of the legal process. As you have put in for ao the birth parents have the right to ask for permission to sppeal but have no automatic right to challenge.
The judge gives them the chance to gather any evidence and present to the court to see if they have any grounds for appeal.
Most likely not and it will be dismissed though birth parents do have 21 days after granting of order to ask for leave to appeal its granting.
It is v frustrating but to my knowledge no child has been returned at this stage and the fact that they have their day in court means that they do not have any loophole to use in the future.
I know it is a nonsense in some ways but at least it means ao is watertight.
Hang in there it will soon all be behind you x

Venusflytwat Tue 11-Apr-17 19:34:41

It's utterly shit. The whole system is skewed so far away from the best interests of the child and towards the rights of the biological parents. The adopters are just collateral.

Venusflytwat Tue 11-Apr-17 19:35:21

Sorry, I should also have said: best of luck. Hope the right thing is done and you can move on v soon.

flapjackfairy Tue 11-Apr-17 19:40:04

With the british legal system there is always the right to escalate any court case to the next level to ask for leave to appeal (eg my childs bm went to high court to ask for leave to appeal as refused at local court. She was refused again!).
I suppose it is designed as a failsafe against unlawful convictions and legal proceedings but unfortunately it gives b parents the same rights in law to challenge adoption orders.
It never gets anywhere but i agree is a useless and expensive waste of time and money and v stressful !

luckylucky24 Tue 11-Apr-17 20:14:32

Venus - that was my thought too.
I get it is the system but what a stupid system!

I actually feel sorry for BFather. He probably left court today thinking he has a chance of getting her back because the judge has given him the time. It will be awful for him to be told that actually his statement didn't matter and he still cannot have DD back. Its cruel.

dimples76 Tue 11-Apr-17 21:11:28

I do think that the whole process is unfair on the birth parents. It took almost a year (and nine hearings) from applying for AO to getting it - at the celebration hearing the judge said that there was never a doubt in his mind that the AO would be the meantime my son's BPs had false hopes and I had nightmares about losing my DS.

I wish that the BP's right to apply to court ended once the child was placed and that the judge's decision on the AO was just about success of the placement.

luckylucky24 Tue 11-Apr-17 21:27:29

"I wish that the BP's right to apply to court ended once the child was placed and that the judge's decision on the AO was just about success of the placement."

This is how it should be.

comehomemax Tue 11-Apr-17 22:20:28

I hated the court hearings and stress we went through - all 6 of the hearings. I had nightmares, panic, terror. It was awful.

However, with distance, I just want to point out - there has to be the ability for birth family to challenge an order otherwise it just becomes a rubber stamping process - there has to be the ability to challenge the order and for that process to be achievable if the legal branch are met. It's very, very rare but there have been 4 cases to date (all in the last 2 years) where adoption orders were challenged successfully by birth families. In all of those cases, the LA had either missed a reliable family member or errors had been made. If the orders had been granted, it would have been an irreversible miscarriage of justice for them - although the adopters must have been utterly devastated and even thinking about the pain makes my heart hurt.

I think the training process just doesn't cover this aspect and it should. The adoption order is the final, legal severing of the relationship with birth family and it is crucial that birth family have the right to apply to appeal the making of the order if we want a process that is robust. Otherwise abuses of the process - purposeful or accidental - could occur.

Sorry OP, I know you are venting and I have lots of posts that I made at the time too - I just wanted to explain why I think it does make sense within the current system. Just try to remember, there have been thousands of orders granted, a small number where appeals against an order were allowed to be heard and only 4 where the judge ruled in favour of birth family. The finish line is close.

comehomemax Tue 11-Apr-17 22:55:20

Sorry, meant add a link to this fab website from @spero which explains the legal aspects really clearly - I realised during our hearings that my sw really didn't understand the legalities and this only added to the stress as they gave very muddled messages about what was happening in court. I lived on this website for months during my son's hearings!
click link

luckylucky24 Wed 12-Apr-17 06:06:14

Thanks max. Our LA did actually put on a legal workshop to explain proceedings but for some reason never mentioned this part of the process. Almost like they were too scared to be honest.

comehomemax Wed 12-Apr-17 07:41:40

I think the risks of actually anything going wrong is so negligible, they simply assume it's all fine. But from an adopters point it's a huge stress and even a tiny, negligible risk can weigh heavily when it's our child that's being discussed by a court. For me, it was the realisation of just how low I still was in any decisions being made and that I had absolutely no rights under the law. The LA lawyer wasn't able to explain what was happening in our case because I wasn't part of the proceedings so all information came via a sw who couldn't explain the issues at all!
My sw has recommended future prep days include much more on this - it was never, ever mentioned during my training or even once placed.

Jellycatspyjamas Wed 12-Apr-17 21:24:04

I think it's hard and stressful but I can also see why birth parents would take it as far as they can - even if it's just to assure themselves they fought as hard as they could. Stressful and hard yes, but they're loosing their child permanently- in their shoes I'd do the same.

mycatsmellsnice Wed 12-Apr-17 23:46:32

It won't go anywhere OP. The court acts in a way to try and prevent future appeals, adjourning for a while to consider BFs request is to ensure all corners are covered and there's no grounds left open for future appeals. I agree it is a far from perfect system though and needs up-dating.

luckylucky24 Thu 13-Apr-17 07:32:10

Jelly, my issue is not at all with parents. I would do the same in their shoes and at least I can tell DD that they did everything they could to get her back.
My problem is that knowing they have no intention of it going any further, what is the point in allowing them to get their hopes up for another two weeks?

comehomemax Thu 13-Apr-17 08:35:20

But it's not that they have "no intention of it going further" - if birth family can prove their circumstances have changed, legally that will allow them to challenge the AO - the courts are not on the side of adoption orders at all. The courts will assess all the evidence legally, they definitely won't be deliberately stalling or trying to give the impression they are considering it when they have no intention of allowing it. They genuinely will consider the evidence birth father provides and if it meets the legal hurdles, an appeal will be allowed. Birth family have a mountain to climb and statistically they won't achieve their aim but that's not the same as refusing to hear it because their chances are now statistically poor.

Jellycatspyjamas Thu 13-Apr-17 09:23:17

I know what you mean lucky, it doesn't seem fair to anyone really, you, LO or the birth parents to keep allowing this kind of stalking but yes, I think it's about being seen to consider all of the evidence and giving them a chance.

The little people we're hoping will come to us have already been freed for adoption so there's no legal recourse left for the parents and, if approved, matching an intros will be very quick and we can apply for the adoption order immediately. I don't understand why more LAs don't do things that way.

flapjackfairy Thu 13-Apr-17 09:25:34

As soon as you put in for your adop order the parents CAN ask for leave to appeal even if placement order granted and they are freed for adoption Jelly.
Unless you live outside uk ?

flapjackfairy Thu 13-Apr-17 09:29:35

P.s once adoption order is granted bp can still ask for leave to appeal the granting of it as they have 21 days to lodge intention to try to appeal it. That is why there is a delay in celebration day.
Even most sw dont know this btw and will look at you blankly if you mention it but that is the legal position .
So even though children freed for adop as it were legally there is still a long way to go which i think should be made clearer to potential adoptors.

Jellycatspyjamas Thu 13-Apr-17 11:33:47

I'm in Scotland and the system is different, the birth parents no longer have parental rights and won't be advised of an application for an adoption order because the kids aren't theirs any more.

flapjackfairy Thu 13-Apr-17 11:48:55

Oh that is a much better system jelly.
Must move to scotland if ever want to adopt again then !

flapjackfairy Thu 13-Apr-17 11:51:05

Ps good luck with match jelly x

Jellycatspyjamas Fri 14-Apr-17 00:11:16

Thank you, so far so good but still not counting our chickens before they've hatched

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