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Foster carer trying to adopt

12 replies

hopefullmama · 07/07/2014 15:25

Hi, I am shortly going to apply to adopt my foster child. My L/A encourages carers to apply direct to Court, rather than go through them (which you can do when you have had the child in placement for 1 year). I am assuming that this will save them some money, and cost me some! Anyone know the pros and cons of applying direct to court or going through social services. I know that you don't have to go to Panel if you apply direct to Court. Any advice appreciated....

OP posts:
excitedmamma · 07/07/2014 20:47

that sounds a bit confusing to me... as they (SS) have to be involved anyway to do reports on you & the child etc.

We were foster carers and adopted our LO.

We had to be approved as adoptors just like anyone else... this can be done via the LA... it shouldn't cost you anything...

Are you sure you/they mean adoption and not Special Guardianship Orders... these you can apply direct to the courts for after 1 year of fostering the child... adoption (i believe) has no such timescales...

We still had to go through to approval panel & matching panel.

I really think you've been misled perhaps and they are meaning SGO's. They are very different from adoption

Lilka · 08/07/2014 03:00

excitedmamma foster carers can definitely apply directly to the courts for an adoption order after 12 months.

I'm sorry OP I don't have any experience of this, but wish you all the best. Are there any fostering networks/support organisations that might be able to suggest the best way forward?

Frillyfries · 08/07/2014 23:09

Hi We have had our foster child for 2 years. We desperately want to adopt him, we adopted our youngest daughter 6 years ago and that went well.
We have all grown so close to him but most of all and more importantly he is so attached to us.
His sw will not allow it and we feel she is rushing an adoption through that has just started, it is not a perfect match but she is carrying on with it. We meet all his needs now here with us, we can not understand why she is being this way?
My question is please can anyone give us much needed advice on where to go from here. Our link worker is agreeing in theory with us but says that they have an adopter now so it has to go ahead.
We do not even get a chance to put our request in to be considered.
We are all so sad.
Never once have we put our feelings before this little boy and everyone that has worked with us say we are professional and always put him first.
We just do not understand it, why can't we adopt him?
Any advice please?

Lilka · 09/07/2014 00:23

I PM'ed you Frilly x

hopefullmama thinking about this, I realised that actually it will save the LA some paperwork etc. The normal procedures no longer apply -you are now doing what's called a 'non-agency' adoption as opposed to an 'agency adoption', it falls into the same category as a step parent adoption with similar procedures. Yes, the LA have to complete Annexe A to the court application, and do all that paperwork etc. but I don't think you need to go through approval and matching panel any more with a full PAR. Those are 'agency adoption' procedures. They may be making their lives easier then.

KristinaM · 09/07/2014 05:24

Frilly -you need to get legal advice fast if you want to keep this child .

Have you contacted your professional organisation ? They should be able to advise you on the steps for a non agency adoption. It's a non agency adoption because the child wasn't placed with you for adoption and you don't have the LA permission to adopt this child.

AFAIK you can petition the courts NOW to adopt the child, as he has been living with you for two years. The court will require the LA to submit a report to them within a certain timeframe. Once you have submitted a petition, the child can't be moved without the courts consent .

AFAIK,you can't do anything once he has been moved . If the LA think you might do this, they could move him immediately . I know FC this happened to, SS turned up without any notice and took the children immediately .

Just to warn you, once you do this , your fostering career is probably over. Your agency may never place with you again and they may give you a bad reference so no one else will take you on. If any of your children have SN and you have to go on dealing with them, this may make things very difficult . SS do NOT like to be crossed and they can be very vindictive and have long memories. I'm not trying to scare you, I just want you to understand the implications of being " uncooperative " .

Let me be clear -I am NOT a lawyer and I don't even know where you live, so my advice may not be accurate. So please get some specialist advice ASAP .

Frillyfries · 09/07/2014 09:44

Thank you for your advice I am so grateful.
I love fostering so much but I don't know how I could live with myself if I did nothing?
I would be prepared to loose my job to give a child a life.
Will have to take some advice and fast by the sound of it.
Thank you again.

KristinaM · 09/07/2014 12:04

Good luck

I realise I didn't answer your original question, about why you can't adopt him

Obviously I don't know if there is some legitimate reason why you would not be considered suitable permanent parents for him. Although I guess this is NOT likely as you have been fostering him for 2 years .

It's about resources. You as a foster carer, are a scare resource. The are not enough FC and LA spent a lot of money to recruit and train them

Assuming that you are wishing to adopt a young healthy NT child -you are NOT a scare resource.there are plenty families, approved and waiting to adopt young healthy Nt babies and children . If you adopt him, you will stop being a FC and the agency will have lost you.

Also many agencies have a policy of not allowing FC to adopt, in case people see it as a " back door " to adoption.

One family I know who applied to adopt their foster kids -the family were a different ethnicity from the kids. They had cared for them for more than three years and the agency were planning to have the kids adopted separately as they were half siblings with different fathers, although they had always lived together. The foster carers were heartbroken that they would be separated, as were the kids ( who were school age ). They fought the LA and were successful in adopting the kids .

excitedmamma · 09/07/2014 13:49

We too had to fight to adopt our little fosterling.... we sought legal advice, instructed the solicitor and won.

I think people loose sight of what is in the best interests of the child, our LA certainly did - they made it personal. Yes, our fostering career was then over, but like you say Frilly, I could not have lived with myself if I didn't do everything possible to try and keep LO.

You need legal advice - and speak to BAAF, I guess it depends on how far down the line they are with the adoption.... I think a letter formally expressing your desire to adopt them, and the question of why this family is in the childs best interest needs to be asked by a legal person.

What does the IRO say?

Happy to talk more about our battle - feel free to pm me

Frillyfries · 10/07/2014 22:10

I have inboxed you.
I agree whole hearted with you that they loose focus on what matters.
''Every child matters'' but only when it doesn't cost too much money.
Have you heard anything or worked with 'The Children's Society''?
I have been told that they are very helpful but once the wheels are set in motion then they can not be stopped and they work as the child's advocate they are not interested in us or ss. And this is all that I want. I need to know that what is being done for this child is not personal to them and is in the best interest of the child.
They are putting all the strategies in place to help support the adopter and child but why bother when he is here and settled and happy. Why put him through it all.
We have never once put our feelings before that of his. He has always come first and I can say that with hand on heart and in the light of god.
I would walk over hot coals for this little boy. All I want is the best for him. This is his life isn't it? Not a financial negotiation.
The IRO seemed positive about it, but if the final decision lays with his sw then he will go.

KristinaM · 11/07/2014 07:49

You need to get legal advice and apply to the court. The final word is not with the SW, it's with the judge /sheriff

Either you go with the flow and let this child leave , or you get advice and fight it tooth and nail.

There isn't some middle ground where you can nicely persuade everyone that you adopting him is a good plan and no one will disagree with you or get annoyed with you .

excitedmamma · 11/07/2014 13:42

frillyfries - have replied back. Hope it helps.

Agree that you need legal advice - very fast.

hopefullmama · 11/07/2014 16:14

Thanks for the replies. Just waiting for it to go to Court, Soc Svcs are recommending adoption rather than child going to birth parents. I feel sick in case the Judge doesn't agree and sends child to parents.

Feel your pain Frillyfries, hope things work out for you, but you have got to fight for what you believe in.
Fortunately both my SW and child's SW will back me up if adoption is the result. Its not plain sailing though, as I will be an older single mum, but I feel like you, I will regret it the rest of my life if I don't fight. Child has bonded with me and my family, I have had the child from birth. Plus, I am agreeable to an open adoption, so it could work well for everyone.

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