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fostering & Special Guardianship- death of birth parent advice appreciated

(4 Posts)
chobbler Tue 30-Oct-12 20:57:31

We have been asked to foster a friends children while she receives cancer treatment, it will be her final chemo round. The children are a year younger than ours and have had contact with our family since birth and frequently playdate when they aren't spending the odd week with us. We see them more in a month than their father has in their lifetime.

She wants us to foster, 'just in case the worst happens', we have had them before when she had treatment but not for longer than a fortnight.
So I have 3 concerns-

1. If something were to happen to her would that mean social services could take the children away and place them with their biological father who is totally unwilling to take them even for a day, as he is their next of kin. Regardless of her wishes. (They were estranged before the birth) She has no living relatives who could take them in and relies on friends when she has treatment.

2. I've been reading about special guardianship but I am confused.
Would Special guardianship mean if we were awarded it we could override any decisions made for the children by their birth father in the event of the death of their mother? nothing is mentioned in any document I have found, it all says about shared parental responsibility but doesn't say what happens when the other parent is absent 99% of the time.

3. can her will/wishes for us to have the children be contested after her death by their birth father if we have no formal arrangement prior to her death?

Collaborate Tue 30-Oct-12 23:52:03

You will have to notify the LA anyway if you are entering in to a private fostering arrangement. Check the website of your LA.

If she were to die SS wouldn't come in and take the children away. If the father wanted them he'd have to apply to court for a residence order. You could apply to - or you could apply for a special guardianship order. It's like a residence order on acid. You're right, in that the holder of an SGO can override the parental responsibility of a birth parent.

If the father has Parental Responsibility then if he lives at the date of her death the guardianship clause in her will will not take effect.

Hope this answers your questions.

chobbler Sat 03-Nov-12 08:47:01

brilliant thank you (now why can't you write the legal blurb that was so much easier to understand) XX

ZillionChocolate Sun 04-Nov-12 09:45:58

If she's making worst case scenario plans, it might be worth seeking advice from Macmillan.

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