Converting SGO to adoption

Skippy
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 5:01 pm

Converting SGO to adoption

Postby Skippy » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:28 am

We've got an SGO on our nephew, which was granted just over three years ago. During this time, he's had no contact with parents, though we have provided updates to his mother several times a year with photographs. He has no wish to be in touch with his "ex-parents" as he calls them - and that's not surprising giving what he suffered at their hands.

Mother is considering moving back to her native Australia in the next few months - her visa is due to run out, and I doubt she'll get it renewed as feckless husband doesn't work, and has thousands of pounds of debt. She'll probably get a free flight home, courtesy of the Home Office!

Given that there is no contact, and our nephew calls us 'mum and dad', and there are few other familial relationships that would change other than with birth parents, we'd like to adopt - parents have refused our request to change his surname on numerous occasions, but we want him to feel like a full part of our family - and having a different surname always causes questions he doesn't want to answer. There seems little point parents keeping that legal link when they have nothing to do with him, and especially when the more reasonable of the two parents is unlikely to be in the same hemisphere come the new year!

We have been planning adoption for a good while, but were planning to wait a couple more years until our nephew is old enough to share his views clearly with the court - he's just turned 10.

So, the question - should we start adoption proceedings whilst the mother is still in this country, or wait until she has gone? Would proceedings be complicated/simplified if one of the parents is no longer a British resident?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 432
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Converting SGO to adoption

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:29 pm

Dear Skippy

Welcome back to the Family and Friends Carers’ discussion forum.

I see from your post that you are having a dilemma about when to start the process to adopt your nephew.

The process would start by you giving notice to your local authority who has to carry out an assessment. Both parents would be involved in your application to the court as they would have to be given notice of your application. If you start the process, this might keep the mother here for a bit longer as she could argue that she is involved in court proceedings. I am not in a position to advice you whether it is better to make the application whilst the mother is in the country or not as adoption is not my area of expertise. A copy of our advice sheet about what adoption means for birth parents might be of some assistance to you.

The court’s concern in an application for adoption will be whether this is the best thing for the child rather than just not wishing to have different surnames. Reports will have to be prepared for the court by the local authority to inform to the court.
I would, however, suggest that you contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre on 0300 330 5480 as this organisation is more able to assist on private law matters including adoption. There website is here .

Hope this is of some help to you.

Best wishes

Suzie


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