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How hard do they look for biological parents?

(20 Posts)
Hawkmoth Tue 16-Jun-09 15:02:11

Theoretical... well for reference in the next couple of years:

How hard will they look for DD's 'father' if DH-to-be were to adopt her?

Sadly, I know only his first name, regular pub and preferred betting shop (bad time - no understatement!). He made it very clear he wasn't interested in her.

bran Tue 16-Jun-09 19:20:13

I think the court would want to hear that an attempt was made to contact or identify the birth father. It may be that they will accept that it's not really possible given the lack of knowledge about him.

A lot of family law firms will give a short initial consulation for free or for a low charge, it might be worthwhile getting a legal opinion just so that you know where you stand before you start the whole dealing with social workers side of things.

Wilts Tue 16-Jun-09 19:28:51

We are in the process of a step-parent adoption.

We have no address for Ds's father, we have checked 192. We do however, have an email address and he is on facebook.

Our social worker advised us to contact him via email as the court will want to know we have done what we can to contact him.

Our social worker has said there is nothing more we can do after this, but as Bran says the court will want to see we have done all we can to make contact.

I have kept both email and facebook message as proof that we attempted contact and also the search for him on 192.

I am not sure what else they can expect you to do with the information you have.

You could always ring your local social services for a chat, I did before we started the process and they were extremely helpful on the phone.

audley Tue 16-Jun-09 19:31:53

Hi Hawkmoth, as an ex-social worker I'd have to say the courts would expect social services to try every available option for contacting him, this could include contact via benefits agency and other offical routes. Probably would feel awkward for you, even scary, but better for your DD when she is old enough to know the facts. Also once it all goes through it would feel much neater for you I would think. He may even be relieved to know there is someone able to be a good father figure in DD's life. HTH

Wilts Tue 16-Jun-09 19:40:53

Audley, please can I ask you a question?

Our social worker has not once mentioned attempting to contact Ds's father via other agencies herself.

We have been given the impression that it is very much our responsibility to track him, and she even went as far as stating last week that this will go to court uncontested if he does not reply to the email.

Do you think things have changed since you practised, or do you think we are heading for problems if this is what she is saying and it is incorrect?

Thanks

Sorry for thread hijack!

audley Tue 16-Jun-09 20:00:50

Hi Wilts, maybe things have changed. I've been out of practice for 5 years or so. There also seems to be considerable differences depending on where you live. So, I guess each case will be different and it will depend on the age of the child, the child's wishes and the history of the relationships involved. I just recall a couple of times when further attempts have been required by the courts. I'd say be as thorough as you can and ask your SW just to make sure. Don't mean to cause anxiety but it's better to be in the best position you can be before it gets to court, then you can feel confident on the day.

Wilts Tue 16-Jun-09 20:08:01

Thanks Audley

We have been trying to get hold of our social worker anyway about a different issue, so I think we will ask her again about this.

It's a shame I have not really covered much of this at uni yet to give me a bit of a head start grin

KristinaM Wed 17-Jun-09 16:35:01

i am not a solicitor or a Sw . But i woudl be very surprised if soemone coudl lose their parental rights to a child and/or be assumed to consent to an adoption on the basis of not relying to an email

like audley, i would have thought that the court would expect him to have been contacted by his local social services and have evidence of that

Hawkmoth Wed 17-Jun-09 16:49:55

Thanks. It is quite an unpleasant prospect, but worth it to make sure things are done properly.

From my working life I know that SS round here are very/over hot on welfare and not so good at everything else.

I think it will be a couple of years before we do this, but I'm terrified of dying in childbirth (32 weeks pg - guess it's normal!) and him ending up with her.

Wilts Wed 17-Jun-09 16:58:06

KristinM- We have spoken to our social worker today, she has confirmed this will go to court uncontested .

What may be the difference in this case is that he has no PR and has not seen Ds1 for over seven years.

Wilts Wed 17-Jun-09 17:00:23

Hawkmoth- You could always look at your Dh applying for a residence order/ parental responsibility for dd in the interim, Just so you feel you have a bit more security

Hawkmoth Wed 17-Jun-09 17:45:35

We'll be getting a Step-Parent PR order when we get married next year. I may look into getting a PR order before baby arrives, but could be a bit late now.

DD's 'father' doesn't have PR, has never seen her and last tried to make contact drunk, 3am, banging on my door when she was about 3 months old.

Wilts Wed 17-Jun-09 18:14:52

Hawkmoth- Your Dd's father sounds as classy as my ex grin

Good luck with the new baby and with the adoption should you decide to go ahead

KristinaM Wed 17-Jun-09 22:05:46

hawkmoth - i think its normal to be worried about the birth - the pain, how you will cope, what could go wrong, will the baby be ok etc

I'm not sure its usual to be "terrfied of dying in childbirth" . i guess you know that maternal deaths in the Uk are very VERY rare. there are only about 100 "maternal deaths" each year, out of about 650, 000 births. That includes woman who die up to 42 days after the birth, many of whom will have severe medical problems which were exacerabed by the pg

if you have such health problems you need to talk about them with a HCP you trust. if you are healthy and having a good pg you need to try not to worry. is there anyone you can talk to about this? in RL? preferably not your DP/DH

have you searched mumsnet for relevant information? it might help you to start a thread on it and hear reassuring words from others

sorry you are having such an anxious time

Hawkmoth Thu 18-Jun-09 13:06:39

I think my main fear is having to have an emergency CS under general, as I lost a friend to an anaesthetic reaction last year following a routine operation.

Plus I'm sure lots of mums look at their children and think "Why am I taking this risk when I have such a lovely child already?".

I'm sure I'll be fine, just panicking about details.

KristinaM Thu 18-Jun-09 16:12:47

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend sad

bran Thu 18-Jun-09 17:53:38

Have you made a will Hawkmoth? I doubt there would be much of an issue of your DD's birth dad trying to take custody of her if the worst happened given that no-one knows how to find him and he hasn't shown any interest so far. What would be more likely is that members of your family might feel they should take her. If you made a will then at least your wishes would be recorded regarding who you would like to have custody of her, and you might feel less anxious.

I wish you all the best for the birth, I'm sure you will be absolutely fine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a virtually pain-free quick birth.

FourArms Thu 18-Jun-09 18:08:55

I don't think such worries are that unusual. It did occur to me (was planning a HVBAC, then had to go into hospital) that what I was doing could result in DS1 losing his mum as well as me endangering DS2, but then as I had to go into hospital to be induced (all happened in a hurry for various reasons), I felt the need to wake up DS1 and give him a big kiss and cuddle just in case. Obviously all was fine, and I'm sure it will be for you. But a will is a good idea just so your family know your wishes.

Hawkmoth Fri 19-Jun-09 14:06:04

Yes, I will make a will! I'm sure I have a voucher somewhere to make a free one with some subscription or other.

This pregnancy was a pleasant, if huge, surprise... I do much prefer having things in order!

Fruitysunshine Mon 06-Jul-09 11:18:14

My DH adopted my DD a year past April. She had never seen her bio father although I knew the area that he was in. I had to give as much information as possible because he had to "agree" to the adoption by signing the form. Terminating somebody's parental rights without their permission or further investigation is not something to be done lightly. They could always come back and contest it later on if they found out.

As it was EXH wrote to the judge giving his consent but CAFCASS never followed through on their part to locate him and interview him locally to ensure he was agreeable. The judge decided to overlook CAFCASS's failure on the basis the ex had written in by himself and granted the Adoption Order in favour of DH.

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