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celebration hearing a legal requirement??!

15 replies

marmalade999 · 20/06/2016 13:54

i have just phoned the court as we have not received notification of timescales etc following on from the adoption being granted. its been a total nightmare from start to finish and topped off with incompetent social workers.
we have been told by the court we HAVE to goto the celebration hearing as its a legal requirement for the judge to see the child?
i never knew this-has anyone else been told this?

OP posts:
MypocketsarelikeNarnia · 20/06/2016 22:02

We didn't go to ours.

So unless I'm in contempt of court...

marmalade999 · 20/06/2016 22:05

thanks for the reply.....did you get the adoption certificate through the post then.
i really, really do not want to go Confused
what joke......sick of being dictated to yet again by the system. why the he does the judge have to see our child???

OP posts:
RatherBeIndoors · 20/06/2016 22:07

Didn't go to ours either - had no idea we were all such law-breakers...oh wait, except we aren't! There's no reason to have one if it's not right for your family; it's totally your choice. Sorry you've had a nightmare but hope you are now all done and can enjoy family life together Smile

OlennasWimple · 20/06/2016 22:07

I don't know whether it's a legal requirement, but I don't know why you wouldn't want to do it Confused

We have a photo of DD's celebration hearing up on our living room wall, and it was a genuinely lovely occasion

If it's any consolation, it's the very last bit of the process where SW are involved Smile

RatherBeIndoors · 20/06/2016 22:13

Well, there are loads of reasons people might want to still celebrate the AO but not do so in a court room. We have a lovely photo from the day we celebrated receiving the AO too - but we did not feel the court was a safe or appropriate place to take our child for valid private reasons, plus they were freaked out by the idea, so we chose to do something they would enjoy instead. There's not one right way for everyone.

And to answer OP's question, yes, they post you the AO anyway so you don't need to collect it.

dimples76 · 20/06/2016 22:26

I felt very negative about the Celebration Hearing beforehand as the court process was very long and drawn out - eight hearings over ten months.

However, I am really glad we went. My LO is too young to understand what was going on but found the experience quite exciting. We had practiced ahead and he called the Judge 'Your Honour' - which really tickled the Judge. He even managed to carry on laughing when my 3 year old nephew said 'that's not your name - It's Mr Poo Poo Pants'.

For us we have happy memories of it and I think it is helpful for Life Story work. I think it also really helped me get passed all the negative feelings about the process.

I remember the letter 'inviting' me to the Celebration Hearing did read a bit like a command to be there or else!

JellyBellyKelly · 20/06/2016 22:32


Our celebration hearing was held in a totally different part of the country to the care/placement/adoption order proceedings. The judge at our celebration hearing had never heard of our children before that day.

Aside from anything else, a celebration hearing and seeing a judge could be hugely disruptive for an adopted child. We seriously discussed not attending with our DC's social worker for this reason and they were totally on board. (We did go in the end)

Our adoption order/new short 'birth' certificates arrived through the post.

No need to attend whatsoever...

BUT... Try to think of it from the DC's perspective. It is often the only part of the process they 'see' (very crude way of putting it bearing in mind the trauma they go through but hopefully you get my meaning??) and it was helpful for our two for a judge to tell them we were their forever family instead of just us. They often talk of it. Try to make sure you're putting your feelings aside when reaching this decision.

Good luck.

JellyBellyKelly · 20/06/2016 22:38

I don't know whether it's a legal requirement, but I don't know why you wouldn't want to do it Confused

Here's a couple of reasons. Hope this helps. Hmm

The children are shit scared by unfamiliar situations and strange court rooms are likely to freak them out

the children are shit scared of authority figures and judges are likely to freak them out

The adoptive parents have been telling the kids for months (or years) that they are their forever family and a judge saying the same is liable to have set the kids questioning the parents prior statements

The parents are so bloody knackered by the process but have spent a long time thinking about whether a celebration hearing would be a positive experience for their children... And have decided that it wouldn't be particularly so they just can't bring themselves to go through yet another 'stage managed production'

The children...

...oh bollocks. You get the jist.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia · 20/06/2016 23:57

Thanks jellybellykelly for saving me all that typing. :)

We have lots of nice photos of our celebration day. There were bikes and trees and family. It was great. You know what's best for your situation op.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia · 20/06/2016 23:59

And I'm feeling your pain op. I was totally sick of it all by then.

All over soon :)

MintyLizzy9 · 21/06/2016 08:11

My sons AO was sent via post and the court clerk told me that they inform the register office and that they would post out the new birth certs. My court papers all say that celebration hearing is optional and you actually have to request it rather than it be assumed you are having one.

marmalade999 · 21/06/2016 10:16

thanks for your replies. the variation is quite astonishing!!
our lo will not understand what is going on at court. she is too young. she can be funny around men so i have no idea how its going to go. we cannot request a female judge as none deal with adoptions at our court.
so we cannot see what our child us going to get out of it. yes some pictures of a bloke shes never met. who hasn't even been dealing with the adoption as we're having it transferred to our local court.
our incompetent social workers want an invite. they haven't even had the courtesy to congratulate us.
if i thought our lo would get anything from it i wouldn't hesitate. we are also celebrating in our own way and we are incredibly lucky to have our lo.
just to top it off court is 8 weeks away. i think its just the whole being dictated to thing yet again that winds me up. after many court hearings i thought we could start to put it behind us.

OP posts:
MintyLizzy9 · 21/06/2016 13:04

Honestly in your position I would think twice. The judge doing ours is the same one that preceded over the last two hearings so for us we are meeting and getting pics of the judge who made some major decisions for my DS. My friend with older adopted kids said it was a nice day for their kids as they fully understood and they liked feeling that they got to be 'part of it' after many years and the judge had brought gifts for them.

It's all so personal, go with your gut Flowers

MypocketsarelikeNarnia · 21/06/2016 13:34

I also found it really odd that after months of funnelling and being incredibly careful with strangers one of the things our sw said was 'it'll be great for her to sit on the judge's lap for a photo'. it won't Hmm

And then someone I know described sitting waiting outside their courtroom for their hearing for an hour while various perps from other cases paraded past and I decided it really wasn't for us!

Truffle87 · 23/06/2016 14:11

We went to ours, it was nice really. We didn't do photos with judge, just had a chat about the process and how life was now, intros to everyone who came along with us and some photos. We were told it's a legal part of the process too but I'm not sure whether it really is or not.

It was very quick, about 10 mins tops, then we had a get together with family/friends. The court wasn't child friendly particularly but all of the staff and the judge were lovely, including the security staff who were supposed to search everyone and their bags were more like an allocated welcome committee just for us. So friendly and excited themselves!

It just finished the process for us, I was quite emotional, especially afterwards when LO was playing on the floor back at home surrounded by everyone who had supported us and been there for us. We'd come a long way and it was nice to mark the occasion but as said by PP, it is very much a personal decision.

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