Closed adoption for our grandson

driscjan
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:36 am

Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby driscjan » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:57 pm

Hello all please help, we don't think we will get anywhere but we just want to share our experience for the treatment we just received in family courts.
Our grandson was placed in care by my daughter in may 2011 my daughter was living 180 miles away and we did not even find out till July 2011. We contacted several sw with the promise of return calls (never happened) 2 social workers later we eventually got the attention of social worker in Mid August,we put ourselves forward as kinship carers immediately. We were initially assessed eventually in oct 2011 and Form F commenced. Our Form F was positive and we awaited fostering panel. The authority our grandson is placed with has a new assessment in trial FAMILY DYNAMICS which took place end of Jan 2012 horrendous results as the assessor recorded events of our daughter happening in Dec 2011 when in FACT we were referring to 4years previous. At panel we were not recommended for kinship carers based on the family dynamics . The incompetence of sw and assessor and then THE GUARDIAN . We truly believed the family courts would see justice( we instructed, private paid a solicitor and a barrister for final hearing.

What we were about to witness was " unbelievable" if i was an outsider i would not believe it
My husband and i was treated no better than savage dogs, i was called a liar, and dangerous and was told that i was so manipulative i persuaded \ manipulated the social worker who did our Form F to give us a positive result. The social worker was on the stand and said she stood by her 5assessment and believed we were grandparents that had best interest of our grandson and he would flourish in our care. He is 5years old and has lived with us previously under verbal agreement for 15 months.
Long devastating story the final hearing was like we were on trial for murder our grandson was hardly mentioned and the judgement is closed adoption, no indirect or direct contact, we used to have phone contact once per week, that was stopped immediately. There is a hoard of unfairness, etc etc ,
What happened ?we truly believed the family court would see we were the loving, dedicated grandparents that the Form F identified yet we walked away after 5 days with a Closed Adoption

We cannot work through this because we can see no rationality is this how it is? How can our grandson who will be 6 years old soon be made to understand that one minute we are there then gone? There we is a lot more details to his life and our daughter however the basics are here and our grandson has been torn from his birth family. We have never been involved with alcohol, drugs, abuse of any kind and have no criminal records.We both have professional jobs and have a mortgage detached property. We have 2 other children one of them is 2 years older than our grandson who's relationship was recorded as best friend in the world by my grandson.
How can our grandson be counselled to understand? Will he think we abandoned him?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:07 am

Hi Driscjan

My name is Suzie, an advisor from the Family Rights Group.

Sorry you appear to have had such a difficult time. You are clearly disappointed about the outcome of the care proceedings.

From the sounds of it, the Final Hearing was contested, as it was clear the parties had failed to reach an agreement about who your grandson should live with, and under what arrangements, before you reached court.

Did you, the parents, and the social worker all have the opportunity to give oral evidence at the final hearing? Furthermore, did your solicitor speak to you about having an independent social work assessment, once it became clear that the Local Authority were no longer supporting you?

Finally, about from suggesting you may have attempted to ‘manipulate’ the social work report, what reasons did your solicitor, (or the court) give for not supporting the placement with you, particularly because you had previously offered a stable home to your grandson for over a year?If you have not already done so, I suggest you contact the solicitor to have these discussions as soon as possible.

Once these reasons are explained to you, although you may not agree with the decision for your grandson to be adopted, and placed outside the family, it may help you to come to terms with the court’s decision.

Hopefully your grandson will have access to any necessary post adoption or therapeutic support as he becomes older. Once he reaches eighteen he will be entitled to birth records counselling, which should help him make sense of his past, and the reason certain decisions were made about him. You may find it useful to look at our advice sheet on adoption.

Best Wishes


Suzie

driscjan
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:36 am

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby driscjan » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:25 pm

Hi Suzie

Firstly thank you for your reply
Disappointed in the decision is an understatement, i would really like to say we (my family Husband, other daughter (18yrs) and 8 year old son ( our grandsons best friend in the world) believed the family court judge would make a decision based on our grandsons best interest. Disappointed does not even come close!

The final hearing was contested by both sets of grandparents and his biological mother my daughter who all gave evidence that the draconian ADOPTION being suggested by both social worker and guardian was not in our grandsons best interest. The constant failures of the social worker to comply with regulations and procedures involving my family eg when putting ourselves forward as carers it took over 4 months to contact us ( we were offered no supervised contact with our grandson to be observed for Form F ) and our constant requests for an explanation as to why? Were ignored literally ( we showed copies of letters in final hearing to all parties and read and receipts from emails sent to both social worker and guardian , yet NOTHING the judge never even flinched. And the biggest surprise was to come the other grandmother had had 3 direct visits with grandson, 1 of which she was given the address of foster parents, collected grandson and took him out for the whole day unsupervised. And all we got was " i can only apologise you were over looked".

And when we eventually asked at final hearing for a goodbye contact yes you guessed it " its been too long since your grandson has seen you it would be emotionally upsetting for him to re connect to have to say goodbye" Why would loving grand parents want to emotionally upset the little boy they love so dearly? How can we contest that? 13 months they stopped us seeing our grandson, yet he was a part of our lives his whole 5 years and as said we had cared for him on several occassions including as i said 15 months under our authority .

The Form F and F2 were undertaken by an Independent social worker and we were
recommended as kinship carers. However the very authority that recruited this independent social worker, at final hearing did not claim as there witness and the barrister representing the authority that hand picked the assessor chose to under mind her 40 hour assessment and question her professionalism .
I hear you say " unbelievable" that's what we thought? This is where it becomes unexplainable.

No we were not told we could have an independent social worker by solicitor or barristers.

The reasons the court gave for not supporting placement with us " potential emotional harm to grandson as our daughter was still in our lives, we were not able to prove we could keep her at arms length" we covered endless scenarios in form f assessment and the assessor strongly believed we were emotionally strong and capable should the situation arise where daughter was demanding access.

You see Suzie its hard for us as adults to make sense of the courts decision which is
Why we wonder daily, hourly how our grandson will have this explained to him, never mind when he is an adult , now he is 6 years old and he has bFeeFn separated, from all his birth family with not even a phone call!

Our grandson has always been at the forefront of our decisions and if we truly believed there decision was for best interest of him then we would most definitely give him the opportunity of a " better life" but we believe that that life was with his family and we thought the court would too

Thank you again, we know its a supportive role at FRG and i am grateful for your advice

Regards

driscjan
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:36 am

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby driscjan » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:03 am

18 weeks after final hearing, it has took an email to adoption officer to request how our grandson is, how he is emotionally after being told the desicion of the judge, what the content of our goodbye letter should contain ? She then copied in the SW involved who once again only got in contact because he had too. The final care plan was clear in that our grandson should be spoken to IMMEDIATELY about the desicion of the judge to help him move on ......... It has taken them 18 weeks ( only been done this week ) He has had 1 visit from guardian and 2 from SW in 18 weeks!!!!!
Unbelievable!!!!

In final court hearing they identified that he would need to be seen immediately by counsellor ( catchpoint) and they would meet his mother and they would decide whether contact between our grandson and his mum should remain whilst search for Forever family. Catchpoint saw my daughter 2 days after final hearing 17 weeks and 3 days ago and she has still not heard from them. I have heard today that our grandson is fretting because he thinks his mummy is dead!!!
How do these people sleep at night?

We all received a letter this week ( when I say all i mean ourselves, other grandmother and mother ) from social worker, containing very sensitive information that they have now identified adoptive parents,etc etc and once again incompetent social worker managed to address all 3 letters to me!!!! it beggers belief that this man is responsible for so many childrens lives, he has yet again excelled in his incompetence!!! . His spelling is atrocious and his grammer????

Our grandson is a very clever little boy and we hope one day when he is old enough he will make these people be held responsible for tearing him away from his birth family.

ange301126
Posts: 536
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby ange301126 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:13 am

dear driscjan, it sounds like you you have some grounds for appeal because of the irrationality of decisions,incorrect procedure, the judge's apparent blindness to any of your evidence etc.etc.
I was initially advised by my lawyers there were no grounds for appeal straight after the final Court hearing and my wife and I were so traumatised ourselves we were not capable of considering matters properly during the short time limits we were given to appeal.
You can apply for leave to appeal beyond the normal time limits if you can give good reasons but do it as quickly as possible if you mean to because the longer time moves on your chances of getting leave diminish.
The problem with getting leave to appeal is that one has to apply initially to the judge who made the decision being appealed. If you consider the decision in your case was irrational (as I do) then he or she is unlikely to change now! Thus he or she is likely to refuse leave in which case further time limits are set for an application to a higher court to appeal the refusal to grant leave.
In the final analysis, in the paramount interests of your grandchild ( and your daughter), I suppose you have no choice but to appeal if you can and you should get on with it as a matter of urgency.
As professionals yourselves,I guess you will have kept all relevant paperwork. Might I suggest you go through them all and check for examples of incorrect procedure. From what I have read about cases and about the Appeal procedures it is better to appeal on the grounds that the case has been administered wrongly rather than to appeal the Judge's decision; this is because even if the decision seems illogical, it has to be deemed IRRATIONAL before leave for an appeal would be granted and even then when a case goes to the appeal itself, in a higher court it is very difficult to get a decision which will overturn that of the lower court.
Good luck anyway! I will never give up and neither will most wronged parents on the forum and I doubt whether you will ever accept that the court acted in your child's best interests.

driscjan
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:36 am

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby driscjan » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:52 am

Dear Ange

Thank you for your reply to my recent post, as you have said making an appeal to the judge that made the decision in the 1st place seems a pointless exercise, In her ( judge ) final statement she called me a unreliable historian ( a nice word for a liar ) and the SW, Guardian & Family dynamics officer were commended for there professionalism.. Our barrister had brought to light to the JUDGE over 26 incidents or lies, incompetence, in accurate information, bullying from guardian to SW, non recorded information, Our positive Form F was not put in front of the adoption panel ( seemed to have been misplaced ) the list is endless, yet the judge still called me a unreliable historian. I only ever told the truth and did so in the best interest of my grandson ( and his right to remain in his birth family ). He constantly asked in his visits from SW, and his foster mother told us, he wanted to be with us.

What can we do to bypass the obviously biased judge? Is there any where we can go to appeal? We have made a formal complaint following procedure to (Wales) children's services, (17 weeks ago) and guess what NO reply!!!!

We have all the paperwork, all the letters, the final draft of care plan, etc etc, all the evidence that shows the family dynamics officer and social worker based there reports on information that was not factual. We tried to show them but they were not interested, eg : in the dynamics report the SW states that our daughter has stolen £80 from our 8 year old sons bank account at xmas 2011 and when we talk about it at a meeting with SW, we brushed it off as if it was nothing!!! FACT: we had come across a bank book for a savings account for our son in Jan 2012 it did have £88 in it in 2007 and in Dec 07 (07) £ 80 was withdrawn. We had said we did not know if it was our daughter who had done it but it was 4 years ago and what could we do now!!! Yet when it came to court they recalled it as happening this year!!! We even produced the bank book!! The judge looked at it and said nothing????? Honestly this was just 1 account, it went on like that for 5 days all together.

How do you appeal against that???

TKH
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:59 pm

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby TKH » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:56 pm

Have you involved your local mp ours was amazing and by sticking to the hard facts when we informed the outcome was amazing

ange301126
Posts: 536
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby ange301126 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:34 am

dear driscjan,if leave for appeal is refused by the court which granted the order, as I said one can appeal the decision at the Royal Courts of Justice. I am surprised your solicitor and barrister have not talked about it with you already!
The problem seems to be that too much latitude for error is granted to social workers by professionals in Court. A judge is granted the discretion to act as he or she sees fit in the paramount interests of children involved. In our case,much of the evidence was fabricated and we pointed to several falsehoods in our statements but the Judge stated clearly that she 'preferred' the social worker evidence being completely blind to our evidence at the same time praising the professionalism of the social worker. So ,going on your case, this crafty tactic is obviously fairly common and one which is relied upon by social workers. This is why they are often so confident they will get their wish; they know that in 99% of cases the Judge will exercise very considerable discretion in their favour. As with you, the Judge scoured the evidence and picked out one apparent inconsistency in my statement, and then accused me wrongly of misleading the Court.

Driscjan,in our case the children are not placed for adoption they are placed in long-term foster care. If your grandchild manages to get an adoptive placement it will then be impossible ever to get him back under the present law. It happened with a couple in East Anglia that they won an appeal but the Judge still said the children had to stay with their new parents.So you should appeal a.s.a.p.
I am not certain but I think that if new parents are found for the child then there will be an adoption hearing. I should think you ought to be able to make suitable protests at that hearing.

In our case ,being only just turned four years at the time, one of the children was placed for adoption but never received an offer. Then we successfully applied to have the placement order removed however the Local Authority placed him in foster-care with his sister. You will be able to make an application after six months if your grandson has not been placed likewise.You should be able to then reapply to have him sent home to you.

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1734
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:00 pm

Dear Driscjan,
I am really sorry that your family continues to experience such difficulties with the practice of the local authority. I can see how upsetting and distressing it must be to see that the care plan that was approved by the court was ignored and the consequences this has had for your grandson. You have made a complaint which you are yet to receive a response from. I understand now the local authority have found an adoptive placement and plans are being made to move your grandson there.
The legal process
A complaint against the local authority will not challenge the placement order (giving children services the authority to place your grandson with adopters). A placement order can only be challenged in court in very limited circumstances and once a child is actually placed with the adopters –ie moved from the foster carer to the approved adopters-then it can no longer be challenged in court. See our advice sheet on adoption that I placed as a link on my last post to you.
Have you discussed the possibility of appeal with your legal team? Again, once a child has been placed with adopters--there is very little that can be done to bring the child back into the birth family-even if an appeal was successful.
Complaint
You have made a complaint through the local authority’s complaint process. Have you considered also complaining via the independent reviewing officer? The guardian in the court proceedings should have given a copy of the care plan to the independent reviewing officer at the end of the care proceedings. The independent reviewing officer job is to make sure your grandsons care plan is followed by children’s services. If it is not, they have the power to take up any concerns with senior management within the local authority. They can also bring any matter to cafcass’s (the office where the children’s court guardian is from) attention if they think there has been a breach of the local authority’s statutory duty to a child or a child’s human rights. See page 8 of our advice sheet
Duties of the local authority to children in the care system
These are some pointers. However, I am concerned that you understand that as soon as your grandson is placed with adopters-then this will rule out any possible return to your family. (Unless the placement breaks down and your grandson goes back into the care of the local authority-before an adoption order is made.) You could call our free and confidential advice line for further support and advice on 0808 801 0366.
Best wishes,

Suzie

forcedadoption
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: Closed adoption for our grandson

Postby forcedadoption » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:29 pm

You have to fight ! Find out who has stolen your grandson.How? Plaster the net with recent photos asking if anyone has seen your kidnapped grandson,use facebook,twitter, genes united,friends united,and other similar sites.Get all the children and other relations joining in the hunt,but if an anonymous friend puts on the notices ,so much the better......
As soon as he is found tell him the truth that his mummy is not dead and still loves him! Tell him wicked people have stolen him for money and to say no ,no,no,to adoption by a horrible new mummy as his own mummy and his own grandma love him and want him back .Sooner or later you will get him back despite the appalling judges and lawyers.
Google "Winona Varney",and "Von and Tammy"for two sucessful cases where these tactics have worked !You have to act yourselves to achieve what you want.
Oliver Cromwell said "Trust in God but keep your powder dry !"


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