Welcome to the discussion boards. My name is Suzie and I am an FRG adviser.
You say that your son is living with a couple under a special guardianship order (SGO). An SGO is usually made with the intention of it remaining in place and the child remaining in that placement until they are 18.
The SGO gives the couple caring for your son, parental responsibility (PR) for him. His mother also retains PR for him, which means that, legally, she is still his mother, even though she may not play a significant role in his life.
Do you also have PR for your son Buster? You would have this if you were married to his mother, if you were named on his birth certificate or if a court granted it to you.
If you do have PR for your son, you are entitled to have some involvement in his life and could apply to the court to have contact with him if this is not already happening. As a father with PR, you would also be automatically informed if there was an application for your son to be adopted and your views about this would be sought. If you do not have PR, therefore, it is important to discuss this with a solicitor as soon as possible to ensure that you are involved in any adoption procedures.
A child does not have to live with a family for 3years before they are adopted if they have been placed by an adoption agency- this usually means placed by Children’s Services.
From what you have said, it does not sound as though your son was placed with the couple he lives with by an adoption agency/ Children’s Services. Perhaps this arrangement was made between them and your ex partner? In this situation, it is right that, once a child has been living with the couple for 3 years, they are able to apply for an adoption order. If an adoption order is granted, the couple will become your son’s legal parents instead of you and your ex partner.
The court can only grant an adoption order if all parents with PR agree to this or if the court decides it is appropriate to remove the right of a parent to object to the adoption.
If you do not want your son to be adopted, it is important that you speak to a solicitor about this urgently so that you can be properly represented in the adoption process.
I hope that this answers some of your questions Buster. I would advise you to read our advice sheet about adoption
and please do come back to us or call our advice line (0808 8010366) if you have any further questions.