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Scared to have another baby.

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:19 am
by nomie
A few years ago, my kids were removed from my care. i had an abusive partner and ss said I failed to protect them. I also have mental health problems. My mother now has an sgo.

I now have a partner I've had for nearly two years. He has a good job. He wants to have a baby. Will ss take it away too? Because I'd rather get sterilized then go through that. How much change is significant change?

Re: Scared to have another baby.

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:12 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear nomie

My name is Suzie, one of FRG's online advisers. Welcome to the parents' discussion board.

You have stated in your post that your mother has a Special Guardianship Order for your children because there were concerns from Children's Services that you were unable to keep your children safe when you were in a domestically abusive relationship.

Your post also refers to the fact that you have mental health difficulties but not support you had received, or the reasons why professionals had assessed your children to be at risk.

Perhaps if you are able to, you could say a little bit more about your past circumstances, how long ago it was, the age of your children, and any ongoing professional support you may be engaged in.

Once you have done this, I may be in a better position to offer you the best advice about the ways you may be able to demonstrate whether or not you have been able to make and sustain necessary changes.

All of this information will be considered in any new assessments of your parenting capacity which will assess your chance of keeping any future children remaining in your care.

I hope this helps.

Best Wishes


Re: Scared to have another baby.

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:43 am
by nomie
Hi, thanks for your reply.

The children were 7 and 2 when they left, they are nearly 12 and 7 now. They were first removed by a section 20 (although I was threatened with court if I took them back, so that never made sense to me). I have bpd and depression. This was greatly exasperated by my ex (youngests father) who was very emotionally abusive to all of us over a period of 6 months. I kicked him out but he harrassed us so we moved. I fell into a deep depression and this is when the children went to my mothers care. Later there was a case conference when they just decided to take them permanently from me. They ruled (as well as the mental health problems) that although I did step in to intervene numerous times, that it wasn't enough and I failed to protect them. They needed better then average parenting. The whole time my ex was harassing us by doing damage to property, threats etc.

I now have a steady partner for nearly 2 years. He has no convictions, a good job and work ethic and my kids like him. We would very much like them to live with us as my mother is very religious and I don't agree with it whatsoever. It has caused arguments. Apparently the sgo means I can't do anything about it.

I'm engaging with mental health services. I'm scared though, if I have another baby with my partner that ss will swoop in and snatch it away. I would rather be sterilized than have that happen. My partner has no children so it's only natural that he would want a baby.

Thanks again.

Re: Scared to have another baby.

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:02 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear nomie

Thank you for responding with further information about your situation.

Having read what you have to say about the circumstances in which your children were removed from your care, you clearly had a very difficult and distressing time both in respect of your health and dealing with an abusive partner.

Whilst your mental health difficulties is not in itself be reason for removing your children, it appears that the domestic violence was ongoing and Children Services were concerned about the impact on your children emotional well being. Unfortunately, although you intervened as stated, removing your children from the situation sooner or seeking help to do so would be the expectation of Children Services.

It is not clear whether at the time you were receiving support or engaging with mental health services and this would have been a further concern.
As your mother has a Special Guardianship Order she is able to exercise her parental responsibility for the children over and above yours. In relation to the issue about your children’s religious upbringing have you tried to discuss this in a calm way with your mother? A conciliatory approach may be a better way of approaching the issue. A copy of our advice sheet about what Special Guardianship means for birth parents is here for your information.

The children have now been living with your mother for five years and, whilst you could make an application to the court to discharge the Special Guardianship Order, the likelihood of success would not be high. You would need to show the court that the children are not being properly care for and that it would be better for them to be removed from your mother’s care.

Having a baby

You would like to have a baby with your new partner but worried about Children Services would do if you had a baby. This must be very difficult for you.

If you do become pregnant it is important that you tell Children Services and be open about it. If they find out otherwise, they may take the view that you are not being honest and open with them.

Children Services are not able to simply take your baby away. They cannot remove a child with the parent’s or other person with parental responsibility’s consent. This is what happened when you signed a s.20 agreement in respect of your older children. Children Services must have consent or a court order to remove a child. It is possible for Children Services to ask the police to remove a child where they consider the child to be risk of harm. A removal by the police (police protection) lasts for only 72 hours. If the child is not returned then there has to be agreement under s.20 or Children Services would have to apply to the court for an Emergency Protection Order or Interim Care Order to keep the child in foster care.

Should you inform Children Services of your pregnancy, then they would have to look at your situation now. They would carry out an assessment of you and your partner to decide if either or both of you can look after the baby. Children Services may decide to have a pre-birth planning meeting to decide what will happen after the birth and whether the baby would go home with your or other arrangements made. This could also be done in a Child Protection Conference.

No plans would be made in the very early stages of your pregnancy and this is when you would need to make sure that you attend all your antenatal appointments and engage with mental health services if you need to. Later into the pregnancy they would discuss what they intend to do with you and your partner.

You have been with your partner two years. Children Services would want to know more about him and his background and this would be part of any assessment they decide to do.

Please read our advice sheet on child protection procedures for more information. You may also find it helpful to go to our website and look at our interactive pages for parents where you will find answers to questions you have about having another baby. You may also find our frequently asked questions here helpful.

Should you wish to speak to one of our Advisers you are can telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

I hope you will find this information helpful.

Best wishes

Re: Scared to have another baby.

Posted: Sat May 02, 2015 10:27 am
by nomie
At the time they were removed I was engaging with mental health but not responding. I have never understood why they were removed permanently. Today is my son's birthday and he's not celebrating it because of this ridiculous religion. I don't know what to do. I feel like I can't parent my children, I'm more like an on call babysitter. She overules me in everything.

Re: Scared to have another baby.

Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 11:55 am
by nomie
So how do I deal with this? Any recommendations??

Re: Scared to have another baby.

Posted: Mon May 18, 2015 11:47 am
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear Nomie,

I am sorry for the delay in responding to your post. I will try to answer your questions.

Why were your children removed permanently?

You are still unsure why your children were removed permanently. One of the main principles of the Children Act-is that when there are any court proceedings about children the court has to take into account the general principle that any delay in making decision about children is likely to be prejudicial to the welfare of a child.
So during the care proceedings taken in relation to your children, the court would have had 26 weeks to decide whether your children could have been returned to you or whether a new permanent home should be found. At the end of care proceedings, the court would have to make a decision whether your children could have been rehabilitated with you permanently, if not whether dad could have safely parented them ,if not, then the court will look at any assessment of friends and family.

Unfortunately if a parent has a health condition that might need, for example, 6 months treatment or longer, the court might not know whether a parent will be able to get better on the treatment. The delay principle means the court cannot wait for the parent, as the delay in planning will be detrimental to a child’s welfare.
Instead the court will rely on assessments that are done at the time of the proceedings. I know that you were having treatment for your mental health but you say at the time you were not responding to the treatment. If the psychologist report said that you needed months of intensive treatment –then this in the courts view, may have been too long a wait for your children.

To get a definitive answer-did you get a written judgment from the court? If you read through this it should outline the reasons why at the time of the proceedings the court did not rehabilitate your children to you.

If your mum does not agree to your children being returned to you, then special guardianship orders are very difficult for parents to overturn.

You would first have to ask the court for permission (leave)-and you would need to prove that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances –ie that you health condition is being successfully treated, that you have also completed any courses recommended to help you overcome the trauma of domestic violence and so that you would know how to identify domestic abuse.
Having done all that, you would then have to show that it is in the best interests of your children to return to live with you.

Your mums decision making in relation to your children.

Are you having a lot of face to face contact? You say that your mum calls on you to babysit. This to me seems positive. It shows that she is trusting of your care of your children. Some parents have to build up contact from supervised contact.

The direct contact you have is a good way to build up a relationship with your children and allows you to be involved in immediate decisions about their welfare when you are with them.

However, I can see how frustrating it is to be overruled in relation to every decision.

I can see that you do not agree with your mothers decisions about religion. Unfortunately, as she is a special guardian, it may be very difficult to challenge this as she has enhanced parental responsibility. However, there may be support such as mediation that might be available so that you can discuss your wishes with your mother. She might be able to see your side.

Help around contact

The local authority might be able to provide help to promote contact between you and your children. However, it is in their discretion-so they do not have to help.
For example, they can help with your travel expenses or the costs of taking your children out somewhere or be willing to pay your mediation costs if there are difficulties over contact. This might be something your mum may want to try?
If you wanted this support you would need to ask for an assessment of need from children services. See part 3 of our advice sheet that I linked in my last post.
Why don’t you ask for a copy of your local authority’s policy on special guardianship orders?

I have only touched on the questions you have asked about special guardianship orders. If you have any other questions about this or about children services assessments, please post again.

Best wishes,