- / Procedures
- / Children living away from home
- / Adoption
- / Placing children with adopters
- / From Placement to Adoption Order
From Placement to Adoption Order
- An adoption order extinguishes any other order.
- Children are placed for adoption under The Adoption (Guernsey) Law 1960 and remain 'looked after' children until the adoption order is granted.
- An application cannot be lodged until the child has been living with the adopters for at least 12 weeks.
- The parental responsibility of the birth parents continues up to the point at which an adoption order is made, although it will be shared with the Department if a community parenting order is in effect.
- A child's guardian from the Safeguarder service will be appointed to represent the child's interests once an adoption application has been lodged and directed by the court.
- In the event that a parent is consenting to an adoption application form 3 consent form will be required to be signed by a birth parent or parents in the presence of a Jurat to be arranged by the child's social worker. A parent consenting who is no longer resident in Guernsey may sign a form 3 consent form in the presence of a solicitor.
- Prospective adopters will also be advised as to how to submit an application depending on the child's legal status and whether the birth parents are contesting the adoption application.The fostering and adoption team social worker will assist the applicant in completing Form 1 (Application for an adoption order) and form 2 (statement of applicant in support of adoption). The fostering and adoption social worker will complete their part of the placing Department report prior to giving the remainder to the social worker. There is an expectation that a placing Department report will take no longer than 6 weeks to complete. The fostering and adoption social worker will send the completed documentation to the GREFFE.
- An advocate will be appointed for the applicants by the Department in all contested adoption applications. Advocate fees will be paid for by the Department, subject to authorization.
Social worker's roles
The roles of the child's social worker, whose primary responsibility is the child's welfare, and the adoption social worker, whose primary role is to support the adopters, should remain separate but close and regular liaison between the two is essential in supporting the placement.
Visits and Adoption Reviews to be held as per statutory requirements.
Life story work should continue with the child to help them to understand about adoption and what has happened to them in their early life.
The prospective adopters and the child's social worker are responsible for preparing the child for the adoption hearing. The magistrate expects that the child, and significant others, will attend the end of the final adoption hearing when the adoption order is granted.
Adoption reviews In addition to standard looked after reviews the review of a child who is being considered for adoption will also need to consider:
- The adoption support plan including whether any changes are necessary; this will cover, for example, finance, contact arrangements and therapy,
- Frequency of visits, by child's and adoption social worker,
- Whether adopters have received all information about the child particularly life story work, later life letters, and copies of any orders,
- Whether prospective adopters understand the arrangements for contact,
- Family allowance,
- Decisions about the timing of the adoption application.
- Health visitors, school nurses, teacher or head teacher should always be invited to adoption reviews. If they are unable to attend their comments should be obtained in advance of the meeting. Consideration should be given to how the review is structured and whether all parties need to be present for the entire review.Birth parents are not invited to reviews after placement for adoption but may be notified of the results of the review in summary form.
- Prospective adopters are able to claim family allowance from the date of placement and should already have been advised of this prior to placement. Where Prospective adopters are 'dual approved' as short term foster carers for the child as part of concurrency planning, they will receive a fostering allowance, equivalent to the Fostering Network rate for a child of the same age.
- Once a Community Parenting Order is made in respect of the child, and the child is matched with the Prospective Adopters at Adoption & Permanence Panel, the placement status becomes that of a child placed for adoption, and the fostering allowance will cease.
- Financial support will only be paid to prospective adopters where the child's needs are such that an adoption allowance is required in order to meet the child's assessed needs or where finance is the only barrier to adoption. Any financial support paid to adoptive parents will be means tested and reviewed annually.
In the case of a placement disruption prior to the adoption hearing a disruption meeting should be convened no earlier than 28 days and no later than 42 days after the date of the disruption, in order to learn lessons primarily from the perspective of the child and to inform future planning.
- Child protection
- Youth Offending
- Children with Disabilities