adoption vs sgo?

Post Reply
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:08 pm

adoption vs sgo?

Post by firedrum » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:50 am

Dear all,

I am new here and wanted some neutral opinions about whether adoption or sgo is best. My 2yr old niece has been living with me and my partner for 4 months now, placed by social services with the mothers permission when she was told she was not going to be able to stay with her any longer due to failing assesments to meet her basic needs.
This is a permanent placement, and she will stay with us till she is at least 18. It is permanent because testing has shown that the mother does not have the capacityto ever meet her needs. Origionally we were going to get an sgo, but the local authority have suggested adoption to make it most secure.
From what we can see adoption may be best. We are a young couple and plan on having our own children, we will treat our niece as if she was our own but she would always know we weren't her biological parents, our own chiuldren would be her brothers/sisters. Also she would have the legal status of our child, in terms of inheritance, and have the same name as her siblings in school and hopefully will not feel in any way exluded from our family in the future, as well as being able to know her own family.
For all these reasons we feel that adoption were better. If the situation was different and she were an older child who remembere living with her mum, then of course sgo would be less confusing and better for her.
Anyway, as I said I am very new to this and so wanted other peoples opinions about what they think is best for her.

User avatar
David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: adoption vs sgo?

Post by David Roth » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:00 am

Hi firedrum, and welcome to Family Rights Group's family and friends discussion forum.

You're probably already familiar with the legal differences between adoption and special guardianship already, so I hope you don't mind if I briefly outline what some of these differences are, since the difference between one legal order and another is the decision that you are considering.

As adopters, you become parents to the child you are adopting, in the same way as if that child had been born to you. The parents lose all their parental responsibility, and you acquire it, completely and unreservedly. You become, legally, mum and dad to the child you adopt.

With special guardianship, you acquire parental responsibility, but the parents don't lose theirs. However, you are given the right to exercise your parental responsibility, to the exclusion of anyone else who has it. Others may have PR, you are the ones who can make the decisions.

There is no legal presumption that one order will be used rather than another in any particular circumstances, the court has to decide on the merits of each case what is going to be best for the welfare of the child. However, special guardianship is the order which is more often made with family and friends care arrangements. The reason is that with adoption there is more often a cut-off from the child's birth family, so that the child can be completely clear about who mum and dad are. With family and friends placements, it is unrealistic to think that the new carers will cut themselves off from the birth parents in this way, as this can be the new carers' own child or brother or sister, etc. The child is likely to be seeing more of birth parents than an adopted child would. Things could get confused - as Irene said, mum becomes aunt and aunt becomes mum. It can be even more so with grandparent carers, when parents become effectively the sibling of their own child.

No matter which one you decide to opt for, the court will probably want to consider all the options, and the Cafcass officer who gets involved will probably want to discuss these with you. Whichever one you decide, it is good that you were able to be there for your niece when she needed you, and I wish you and her well in your life together.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:26 pm

Re: adoption vs sgo?

Post by Celle » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:45 am

I'm wondering if firedrum, who started this thread, could come back and update us on what happened?

My daughter and her husband are asking the same question - SGO or adoption? In their case, the relationship to the child in question is quite distant - she is the first cousin, twice removed, of my son in law. They feel that adoption would be a better result for this little girl.

Her mother has blown her chances and has been notified that her children will never be returned to her care. The child has no identified father - birth mother is not sure. Birth mother has not seen the babe since she was taken into care in May and is not to have contact for at least 6 months after the babe is placed.. Contact would be maintained with babe's grandparents and there is no reason why she can't call them Granny and Gramps, as her older sister does. Grandparents have care of older sister.

We see no reason why this little one can't call my daughter and son in law Mum and Dad without distorting the family relationships. They intend to tell her about "tummy-mummy", or "MummyJ". If birth mother can improve her condition, arm's-length contact can be resumed.

Post Reply