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(Big) possibility of losing 'fostering to adopt' child back to 'birth family'! :((6 Posts)
I’d appreciate some advice. I am desperate for some help to be honest.
I am a sole foster carer for baby H through Early Permanence Planning (EPP) (where the child goes directly from birth family to foster carer and where it is the intention of the foster carer/local authority to move the placement from fostering to adoption, in order to provide ‘permanence’).
All was going well from my point of view - two of the paternal birth side had negative assessments, but with just weeks to go until the court hearing date a new interested party came forward from the maternal side. initially, this pre-assessment/viability was negative, but now the court guardian has recommended that they can have a full assessment and they are currently going through this (they are just a few weeks in). It is now looking extremely likely that the local authority feel that this new interested party can meet all of H’s needs (certainly in terms of food, shelter, having a room etc), but maybe the question is being asked of whether or not they can handle birth Mum’s access (who’s is very, very volatile). However, as I say, they are applying for an SGO. The people in question I understand to be ‘connected people’ to H as they are birth Mum’s Stepdad’s Sister and Brother in Law - so not blood-related, but one in which the local authority feel is worthy of being a connected person.
I now feel really scared that he will go back, despite the fact that this (when EPP kids go back to birth family) is really rare.
Although I had hoped for an adoption order by now, I would settle for an SGO myself (although I realise these are when you share parental responsibility). However, I have previously read that foster carers needs to have cared for the child for a year beforehand, but I am reading in some places that ‘those with parental responsibility’ can agree to an application for an SGO too. Although birth Mum is obviously not wanting that (she is wanting ‘Aunty and Uncle’ (detailed above) to have him), birth Dad and Nana have actually signed something to say that they’d like him to remain with me!
What can I do? I feel so helpless just ‘letting things happen’ (as everyone from the local authority is asking that I do). Don’t get me wrong though - the local authority have been very supportive.
Has anyone had experience of EPP/fostering for adoption going very wrong/risky like this?
Please help! Thank you.
Can you get legal advice on how best to fight this? The child has presumably bonded with you. Mum's stepdad's sister is a tenuous link, to be upsetting an established relationship for.
I think this is every parents nightmare. I agree with getting legal advice.
The “experts” get it wrong so much that even with them being outwardly supportive, I’d get extra advice.
I wish you the very best.
I don't have any practical advice but just wanted to offer you some support, I can't imagine how you must be feeling.
Have they given any time scale for a resolution?
Aderyn17 - thanks, I think legal advice might be a good idea. Unfortunately, for me, the onus is on the local authority attempting to find some way of ensuring that the child stays with the birth family - adoption is a last ditch option, I suppose.
WineBeforeCake - I totally agree - it's better than doing nothing, I'll look into things today - thank you.
KungFuEric - thanks, the assessor has to have made a decision by November 3rd. So I need to act quickly.
Thank you for your lovely responses!
I'm not sure you want to hear this but i'm not sure there is much you can do.
Is EPP the same as foster to adopt?
If it is then I assume you are H's foster carer at the current time? That the local authority has PR shared with parents at the moment? That the baby has a care order of some sort? That the baby has been with you for less than 12 months?
IF all of those are correct than I think in (England, not scotland, ireland) Law you have no grounds to try and keep the baby.
It is rare for foster to adopt baby's to go back to birth family, but it does happen sadly for the adopters. Happily in most of the cases i've heard of, they have gone on to adopt a child.
I guess your only hope is that the SGO assessment is unsucessful - the link is tenuous as its not a birth link, but it does keep H within the family, and allow baby to see mum/dad sometimes. The contact issue will be managed via SS if needed (court ordered contact can be made within the SGO - thats what happened for our SGO child )
Sorry thats not what you wanted to hear I know.....I hope its helpful though to hear what can and does happen.
I hope your sw is offering you support at this time.
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