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Getting custody of my younger sibling(10 Posts)
Firstly apologies for being slightly vague here, it's a sensitive time for my family and I'm paranoid about accidently outing myself!
My mum is terminally ill and currently my younger sibling lives with her and her partner, he is a father to my sibling but isn't legally or biologically our dad and so has no legal rights (I assume), the biological dad is on the birth certificate but hasn't even visited or been in contact. I'm in my late 20s and have a stable job, home, relationship etc. So basically I'm wondering what happens when my mum passes away, will I automatically get custody as next of kin? Am I even next of kin? Will I have to apply for it? Will the biological father be contacted by social services and offered custody even though he's never ever been interested? I don't know if anyone will actually no the answers or if I'm posting in the right place but I feel so clueless and am struggling to find information discretely so if anyone has any clue I'd be greatful!
I should add we have discussed as a family that my sibling will live with me and were all happy with this choice, it's just not easy to bring up the legality of it yet as it could all be years away yet
I'm sorry that your going through this. But I think you are goingto have to grasp the nettle an have that difficult conversation.
Does your mother have a Will and do you know where it is? If she doesn't she needs to make one, and express her wishes for your siblings guardianship. She can specify her partner, explaining that he is the de facto father and she wants here our sibling to continue in his current home with the man who is actually his father figure. Or she could nominate you. If her wishes are clear, sensible and provide continuity for a bereaved child, it is unlikely they could be successfully challenged by the biological father who does not figure in day to day life.
I'm so sorry your family are going through this difficult time. Please try and have the talk with your mum and get her to make a will detailing what she wants for your sister. Your mum's partner may also want custody so that's a conversation that needs to be had and your little sister needs to have her voice heard as well.
Thanks, she doesn't have one, shel never get one properly done, she has no money or property and although everyone will harass her about it shel take forever to get this sorted.
Wev discussed it as a family and her partner and my sibling are both happy with this (well non of us are happy obviously, but we all feel this is for the best) although he will always be very much a vital and involved part of our family.
So will social services just follow the wishes of my mum and us as a family? Does anyone no if they are legally obliged to contact the biological father? We don't even no were he is so they'd have a job of it...
Ok so November is Will Aid month. That means your mum can get a will written for free (you make a donation to charity instead, they suggest £50 or £100 but you can put in as little as £1 if that is what you can afford).
Many high street solicitors are participating- see www.willaid.org.uk/will-makers for more details.
I feel your decision to consider the needs of your sister at this stage is admirable
I suggest that you seek advice from either from the adoption service of your local authority s or a solicitor that specialises in families and children. Most solicitors will give a free first consultation.
The likely outcome will almost certainly be adoption, possibly with an interim phase of kingship care
Kingship care is the same as foster care but by a family member, there are formal procedures involved but social services have the authority to make the placement and catch up with the paperwork later.
Being a kingship carer usually attracts funding towards the child’s upkeep, and grants and bursaries may be available for educational needs.
Adoption also has formal procedures that must be completed and approved before the adoption is confirmed.
A will would be best however you can apply for what was a residence order.
Adoption and kinship care are not really relevant in your case. If your brothers dad has pr the courts will want to locate him but that does not mean that your brother will live with him.
About a third of children in kingship care are looked after by an older sibling. see “Spotlight on Kinship Care” page 49
Kingship carers generally receive an allowance for food and clothing and support from the local authority.
It is an option worth considering
Kinship care where an allowance is paid is for children who are known to social care and the other option is the care system.
Unfortunately a number of parents die and their children fortunately do not become part of the care system as it is all managed by the family.
For kinship care, the child would have to become looked after by the local authority, which isn't what I think you want!
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