Family planning / Sex Offender Register (SOR)

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salopian
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:37 am

Family planning / Sex Offender Register (SOR)

Post by salopian » Sat Dec 04, 2021 3:29 pm

Hi all,

I am likely to be added to the Sex Offenders List for 5 years very soon. I am doing all I can to be proactive in terms of preparation for this, such as planning to go self-employed as I will obviously be dismissed from my current role and seriously struggle for other work.

My partner and I were considering starting a family in the next couple of years but, due to the circumstances, this will now have to wait until I’m off the SOR. Heartbreaking and something we are still grieving and coming to terms with; things are incredibly raw.

I’ve spoken with the Unlock charity over the phone and I’ve been advised that “Once you come off the register, you should be treated no differently to any other couple looking to start their own family” (extract from their website). In an ideal world, this would be the case, but I’ve read in numerous places that a ‘flag’ remains in place which alerts the midwife/Children’s Services, even after being taken off the SOR.

Can/should this flag be removed as, in that situation, it is legally up to you whether to disclose this info or not?

FGR advised over the phone that openness and transparency with Children’s Services is advised, but there is no way that their risk assessment would allow a normal family life. Even ‘low risk’ cases result in no unsupervised contact where CS are concerned.

I just wanted to see if anyone has any experience or knowledge of starting a family once you are OFF the SOR?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3267
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Family planning / Sex Offender Register (SOR)

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:16 pm

Dear salopian

Welcome to the parents’ discussion forum and thank you for your post.

My name is Suzie, online adviser, at Family Rights Group. I see from your post that you are very concerned about the future for you and your partner starting a family. Your concerns arise from the fact that you are likely to be a registered sex offender and to be on the Sex Offenders Register for 5 years.

I note the information that you say you have from the charity, Unlock, as to what should happen once you are no longer on the Sex Offenders Register. You state that your understanding is that once off the Register you and your partner should be like any other couple wishing to start a family. In general, this may well be the case but where children’s safeguarding is a concern, then it will still be case that children’s services would be concerned about the possible risk you might pose to a child.

Each case is different, a lot will depend on the nature of the offence itself, whether your partner is or can be a protective parent. You may find it helpful to contact Lucy Faithfull Foundation who advises in respect of sex offenders and their family. The website site Stop it Now here may also be helpful. In all circumstances, children’s services would have to carry out a risk assessment before decisions are made about the kind of contact, if any, depending on the assessed risk and how a child will be kept safe.

Whether you are on the Register or de-registered, children’s services is likely to be concerned about you and your partner becoming parents. There is nothing to prevent you both deciding to have a child, but the concern will be, because of your history the safety of the child and how that can be managed.

The best way would be, as you have already been advised, to be open with children’s services at the time you and your partner decide to start a family. It might be possible for you a have a ‘what if’ conversation with children’s services to get a clearer idea of what steps they could take in the circumstances.

It may be that a poster who has had direct experience will respond to your post about their own experience.

I hope this is helpful, but should you wish to speak to an adviser you can telephone the advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes

Suzie

salopian
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:37 am

Re: Family planning / Sex Offender Register (SOR)

Post by salopian » Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:42 pm

Hi Suzie,

Thanks for your reply.

I suppose what I’m asking is whether it is worth starting a family whilst on the SOR, considering the intrusive input that CS tend to have. If the outcome of a risk assessment (ie. no unsupervised contact for 2+ years) were to be the same whether on or off the SOR, then we may not choose to wait.

I’ve spoken to yourselves, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, StopItNow and the local authority Children’s Services and it seems that, whilst it is not a legal requirement, it would simply be expected due diligence. Understandable but, as I said before, we are trying to be proactive in finding this out before trying for a child.

Children’s Services will not have a ‘what if’ conversation with us unfortunately. They’ve said a risk assessment is carried out after 12 weeks; it’s a lot to ask someone to ‘wait and see’.

Hopefully some members will be able to provide their experiences and help us better understand.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3267
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Family planning / Sex Offender Register (SOR)

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Dec 06, 2021 5:29 pm

Dear salopian

Thank you for clarifying your position in your post.

Whilst I understand that you want to know what is likely to happen it is not possible to really say. The decision is yours and your partner when you start a family. Children's services will be involved as you know. Until an assessment is carried out no decisions can be made. However, the situation, I think is the same whether on the Register or not a risk assessment to ascertain the level of risk, whether it can be managed and very importantly, if your partner is a protective parent.

I hope someone will give you the benefit of their experience but you should remember that every case is different and decisions made on the issues in that particular case.

Best wishes

Suzie

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