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Adoption Order - applying

(17 Posts)
howmanyusernames Wed 04-Jul-18 11:10:53

We've had our LO for 10 weeks now (last Friday) so want to press ahead with applying for the AO.
Our SW has said they will do everything, but also that they need to speak to (on the phone) all our references first. Is this normal?
None of our references have been called yet, and we are eager to get things moving asap as we know the courts can take months to process the AO.
I know it's only been a few days but am also conscious that they haven't submitted the paperwork yet, and we don't know when they will.
Do you think it would be okay for me to push them along to contact people, or could we even apply for the AO ourselves?

Also, we have our second meeting with the independent reviewing officer on the 1st August, so we don't have to wait for this to happen before applying for the AO do we?!

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OurMiracle1106 Wed 04-Jul-18 14:29:49

It would depend if the local authority/adoption agency are happy to back your application at this point. Is the child settled and content? Have you bonded well with the child? Have you met the birth family? Has it been spoken about? Has letterbox been discussed?

From my experience as a birth parent AO was applied for beginning of March and granted mid June so not really that long if I’m honest.

I would have contested as well should I not have been given the opportunity to meet my sons parents.

howmanyusernames Wed 04-Jul-18 14:46:23

Yes, they're happy with everything and our LO is settled and bonding well etc. Our SW said it's like he's always been here.
Letterbox has been discussed, and we are happy to do that.

We said we'd meet BM if it was in LO's best interests, but she has disengaged with SW's. BF isn't in the picture.

Our SW's have said they will do all the paperwork re; the AO so we have just left it, but I don't want it to just get left and then nothing happen. I'm also conscious of the summer holidays, and that things might slow down for that, which is why I want to get things moving now.

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Midge591 Wed 04-Jul-18 14:50:23

I find it very strange that they now want to speak to your referees? surely they should have done that before the child was placed with you? Or is this just to check how you are getting on?
If they are stalling putting in the paperwork I would definitely be asking questions especially if they haven't raised any concerns with you.
Make sure all requests are sent by email so you have a document trail and if getting no-where raise it with the IRO so it is officially documented in their. Meeting minutes...I had to do all my own AO application and pay the £170 and send it off myself, the sw' s were then given 6 weeks to write their reports.
I would want them to get it sent off asap..they have all the necessary info at their fingertips!!!
Good Luck

howmanyusernames Wed 04-Jul-18 15:07:28

I think it's to just check everything is going well from their side. Is this not normal then?
Cool, I'll maybe ping over an email chasing it up.
They're paying for it so I didn't want to ideally do it myself, but I also don't want anything to slow things down!
They also said before the 10 weeks that they'd start getting the paperwork ready, so I don't know why there is a delay now.

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bostonkremekrazy Wed 04-Jul-18 16:39:57

10 weeks really isnt stalling.
Its normal to have a 2nd review prior to submitting the paperwork.
Its normal for SS to submit the AO paperwork as there are sections on there for SS to fill out, with info you shouldnt know about BM/BF....
...it is often completed together at the 2nd review.
I was a referee and I was contacted both at the start of the process, and just prior to the AO being submitted in case I had any concerns....it is good practice!
While 10 weeks is the minimum you can wait before submitting AO paperwork, most LA's ask you to wait 12 so the 2nd review can take place.
Dont worry....especially if they are paying! I paid for all 4 of mine - grrrr

howmanyusernames Wed 04-Jul-18 17:37:43

Thank you boston for the info!
I think when the 2nd review was arranged even the independent officer said we 'may have a court date by then' so am hoping we don't have to wait as we're not seeing her until the 1st August! I'd be a bit miffed if we do as I would have said something to her at the time!

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Allgrownup3 Wed 04-Jul-18 22:21:24

My process was as follows. I submitted the AO at 10 weeks. When the court set a date my SW had to contact all my referees and complete their paperwork. This was to back up their evidence that they had checked with my referees. How we were getting on etc.

Minnie881 Thu 05-Jul-18 08:27:24

It’s totally normal the check references, it’s just about providing some evidence that things are settled/going well. Our SW said they do it for everyone now as once case was delayed after a judge asked for this so it’s ‘standard practice’ now. 10 weeks is not long at all, our wasn’t submitted until maybe 16-20 weeks just due to various delays...it’s completley normal... we did put get our AO until about 9 months after placement and then wasn’t contested so fairly straight forward in that respect..

howmanyusernames Thu 05-Jul-18 08:32:16

allgrown up thank you! That all makes more sense, just in that they will (hopefully) submit the AO now, get the date and then get the paperwork ready for that date.
I emailed our SW yesterday just asking how he was getting on, so will see what he comes back with!

I think we're just keen to try and get everything legal for our LO's 1st birthday, but we know we can't control the courts so it's more of a 'ideal' than a necessity. And if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen.

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insmithereens Thu 05-Jul-18 12:11:42

Totally normal to check references. Each LA does it differently but you will need to fill out the AO application yourself either way so download it from the .gov website & send your completed one to your SW. Then regardless as to their own internal processes you'll have done that bit & it'll speed things along

howmanyusernames Thu 05-Jul-18 12:53:16

Ah okay, the SW's told us they'd do the application form?

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Minnie881 Thu 05-Jul-18 14:07:38

There is a section that the adopters need to complete, it isn’t very long. The main bit is their report..

bostonkremekrazy Thu 05-Jul-18 16:37:26

Howmanyusernames - some LA's wont submit the AO until all the paperwork is ready to present to the court (in case a SW goes off sick, or the court date comes back as very quick etc)
Depends on the LA.....mine wont. Everything has to be done by 2nd review then agreed and applied for .
I so wish it was the same across the whole UK....then all adopters and BF would at least know where they stood!....and every LAC child would be treated fairly across the board!

howmanyusernames Thu 05-Jul-18 19:22:01

Update - My SW emailed me back, said the courts insist on the application form and paperwork going in together.
Suggested meeting on the 23rd, I asked if it could be sooner, but he said there needs to be another statutory visit before the 23rd, which he said he can do on the 17th?

Said he also needs;

Original marriage certificate
Photocopies of the photo page of our passports
LO's birth certificate

Does that all make sense?

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Allgrownup3 Thu 05-Jul-18 21:01:38

That's good that your LA complete and pay for your AO. I had to claim my expense back.

Yes all the evidence your SW has asked for is correct the courts request copies. If you haven't claim child benefit yet. Make sure you do now as you won't get your LOs birth certificate back. So I suggest you make a copy before handing it over.

howmanyusernames Thu 05-Jul-18 21:49:12

We applied for the child benefit the first day LO was with us, mainly because the BM was still claiming it (even though she hadn’t been with LO since January.....) and we’ve put it to one side for his savings account once he has our name.

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