adoption vs sgo?

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

adoption vs sgo?

Postby 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.
Thanks,

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ied53
Posts: 2122
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Re: adoption vs sgo?

Postby ied53 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:06 pm

The reason SGO came in was to stop the need for adoption within the family ( it does still happen). and still have a permanance. As it alters the family dynamics as Aunt you would become Mum and Mum would become Aunt. As you say you will always be honest with the child.
The arguements you put forward could also be covered by SGO and you can apply to the court to have the childs name changed if Mum won't agree ( no new birth cert) . The arguements you put forward are also an excellent reason for wanting to adopt. Though the courts do prefer SGO where relatives are concerned. Either would be good for the childs needs I would suggest the arguements re child growing with "siblings" and not feeling an outsider are a stronger arguement given your ages and that possibility but that would be the only difference. It sounds to me that you have considered the future carefully and indeed want a permanent solution. Either would be best for the child the sw often advise this but then the legal team say no you have to have SGO so be prepared. I have SGO for two girls but I am Granny. Best of luck to ypu what a lucky child to have you.
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

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

Re: adoption vs sgo?

Postby 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

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

Re: adoption vs sgo?

Postby 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.


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