Adoption explained ....
Post Adoption Contact...
The Adoption and Children Act 2002 sought to address issues of contact in recognition of the fact children were much older at adoption than had previously been the case, and therefore were more likely to have established links to their birth families.
Sections 26 and 27 of the Act places a duty on the court to consider contact arrangements for birth families and their children when making a placement order section 46 (6) comprises a duty to consider such arrangements when an adoption order is made.
The intention is for contact arrangements to be agreed by the parties. If agreement is not possible, an application can be made to the court for a contact order it is unusual for the court to make such an order, especially against the wishes of adoptive parents.
Contact arrangements with birth parents are usually indirect rather than face-to-face. Many families participate in letter-box contact once or twice a year, which involves exchanging information between the adoptive family and the birth parents. This contact is usually done through the adoption agency to protect the identity and location of the adoptive family. Direct contact with birth parents is rare it occurs more often with siblings.
It was important to remember that contact should be for the benefit of the child, not for the parents or other relatives.
The reasons why a child might benefit from contact were spelled out in evidence from After Adoption it is not about maintenance of the relationships as they were with the birth family...
What [children] like is to have some continuity that enables them to integrate the past with the present, and obviously then the future...
I think contact can play a very useful role for the child in helping them understand their world and their life history..
Practice in relation to post-adoption contact with birth family members varies considerably. We are concerned that the purpose of such contact may not be fully understood when arrangements are made.
Post-adoption contact should be considered only in relation to the needs and best interests of the child, with no presumption for or against allowing contact...
Given the importance of sibling relationships to many adopted children, we would be concerned if the new clause on post-adoption contact in the Children and Families Bill presented a barrier to maintaining such contacts.
Arguments in favour of contact with siblings are often made by the birth parents as respondents to the adoption application.
Under the new clause, parents would need to seek leave to make a contact application, as would siblings, but the ability of the latter to do so may be constrained in practice.
I sincerely hope that the new provision on obtaining leave to make an application for contact do not limit the potential for sibling contact to be considered by the court, when it is desired, and deemed to be in the child's best interests......
If your child's adoptive placement breaks down....
The first thing you need to do as soon as your find out your child's placement has broken down is e.mail the children's social worker, and send a copy to Children Service Manager and Chief executive of the Local Authority and ask for an Immediate Meeting with them.
This meeting is called a Disruption Meeting. This is also used for when a foster placement breaks down aswell.
Please read the following;
A disruption is the premature ending of a placement of a children that has been placed for adoption.
A decision not to carry on with a potential adoptive placement during introductions is not considered a disruption for these procedures.
A placement can disrupted by the adoptive parents request, or by the local authorities who approved the placement for the children and different procedures may then apply..
Disruptions can occur both before or after an Adoption Order is made.
Disruption before making the Adoption Order
Where an adoptive placement disrupts making the Adoption Order, an Adoption Review will take place as soon as possible.
This will be chaired by the child Independent Reviewing Officer and will consider the following areas.
Whether the adoption plan for the child remains appropriate.
The arrangements for meeting the children's health and educational needs and whether any changes are required to assist the children's development.
The existing arrangements for contact and whether they need changing.
The adoption support needs of the children, the adopters and the birth relatives in relation to contact and where the children are subject to a Placement Order, the need to seek revocation of the Placement Order.
The carers who fostered the children before the move to the adoptive placement should be informed of the disruption.
Discussion should take place between the children and the prospective adopters’ social workers, and the foster carer’s supervising social worker about who should inform the foster carers, and who should offer them support should this be needed. This may also be an opportunity to explore whether the foster carers may have a role in offering some support to, or contact with, the child.
A Disruption Meeting will be held between 28 and 42 days of the Disruption to identify the reasons for the breakdown and to learn lessons from the events surrounding the breakdown. Consideration must be given to the timing of the Disruption Meeting and whether it would be helpful to hold the meeting before the Adoption Review.
An Adoption Team Manager will arrange for the meeting to be chaired by an experienced practitioner or manager from outside the Adoption Team and not involved in the line management of the case responsible social worker. In inter-agency placements, consideration will be given to having a chair from an independent agency. It is the responsibility of the Adoption Team Manager to commission this if needed and the other agency will be asked to share the cost. The prospective adopters’ social worker, or family finder in the case of inter-agency placements, will coordinate the arrangements for the meeting.
Those attending the meeting will be...
● The child’s social worker and line manager.
● The prospective adopter’s social worker and their line manager.
● The family finder.
● The prospective adopters (some may choose not to attend).
● The child’s previous and current foster carers.
● Consideration will also be given to inviting key professionals such as teachers.
If appropriate (for example, where Parental Consent to Adoptive Placement had been given).
● Birth parents will be invited to contribute to the process of the meeting, possibly in writing or via an interview/contact with the Chair of the meeting.
● It may also be appropriate to invite comments from other family members.
A pro forma letter of invitation to all the participants is available. This letter explains the purpose and overall agenda of the meeting.
If the Adoption Review decision is that adoption is no longer the plan for the child.
A freeing order...
Appealing a placement order....
Appealing a placement order for adoption used to be called "revoking a placement order". When the parents apply to the Courts to have their children's returned in to their care.