Adoption process

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SM02
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:23 pm

Adoption process

Post by SM02 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:35 pm

Good evening,
I am quite new here. I am dealing with few issues but mainly the one is very urgent to be resolved. We received SGO two years ago for my nice. She lives with us since 2016. Please can you provide me helpful information about the adoption process? How does it look if child’s biological mother hasn’t seen child since June 2017? She didn’t even once showed up in the court during hearings for SGO. Child has been placed with us by local authority in January 2016 due to physical and emotional abuse. My question is can I apply for adoption without mother’s statement (permission)? We have been trying to apply for deprivation mother’s rights but unsuccessfully. We really want to make her feel safe and feel that she belongs to our family without worrying if she shows up or any other future traumas for my niece. We want to get legally everything and get adoption ASAP. Please help me with this issue if you have any experience or simply can give advice. Thank you

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Adoption process

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:23 am

Dear SM02

Welcome to the family and friends carers’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am FRG’s online adviser. I am sorry that I was unable to respond to your query sooner.

You are a special guardian for your niece and have been caring for her for several years. You would now like to apply to adopt her. Her mum has not had any recent contact with her and did not participate in the Special Guardianship Order (SGO) court case. She still has parental responsibility for her daughter though.

Adoption of a child by their aunt/uncle is less usual than a SGO and is sometimes not deemed appropriate because it can confuse family relationships. However, for some children it can be the right arrangement for them. It would be the court’s responsibility to make that decision based on what is right for your niece. It is clear from what you say that you are very committed to providing a warm loving home environment for your niece and you believe that this is the best way for you to ensure this. Don’t forget though that you are already the main decision maker for your niece under the SGO and your niece’s mother has to work with you or get the court’s permission to be more actively involved in her life especially as she has not kept in touch with her in recent years.

As you already have a SGO for your niece, any application for you to adopt your niece would be a private law application. The local authority will still need to prepare reports to inform the court but it would not be a public law matter as it is not the local authority who are taking the matter to court.

You wanted to know if you could apply for an adoption order for your niece without involving her mother. This would not be possible, both parents (with parental responsibility)would need to be involved in your application to the court and you would need to give them notice of your application.

As we do not advise on private law matters I would recommend that you contact Child Law Advice ; they have website information which I think will be helpful to you and they also have a telephone advice line 0300 330 5480 where you can speak to an adviser about the process.

I hope this is helpful to you.

With best wishes

Suzie

SM02
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:23 pm

Re: Adoption process

Post by SM02 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:50 pm

Thank you so much. I am really devastated because we don’t know where mother lives. We have bee tried many times to contact. My niece is scared of her. She was physically and mentally abused by her and her partner for years. Previous social service left us behind and the current one is useless as well. We were fighting for her safety and loving place for 3 years. I lost my job to provide her great environment, than I had been diagnosed with few illness and it’s right now very difficult time. Can you give me any advice? If I put an application for adoption and the court (if adres is known) send it to the mother - we need to get her permission or just inform her?
I ll be appreciate for future assistance

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Adoption process

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:53 pm

Dear SM02

Thank you for posting again.

As explained in my previous post our service does not advise on private law matters. Please read the earlier response again.

Before you make an application for an adoption order you would need to inform your local authority of your intention to do so as they have to carry out certain investigations before your application to the court.

Whenever you make an application the court will want to know that the parents have notice of the application. This is so they can oppose the application if they so wish. At the end of the day, the final decision whether an adoption order is made will be for the court and will be based on what is best for the child’s future.

Please read our advice sheet Adoption: what does it mean for birth parents?.

It is important you seek private law advice from Child Law Advice on 0300 330 5480 as it the most appropriate service for you.

Best wishes

Suzie

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