Monday, 28 March 2016

Children will be adopted if relatives cannot prove they are suitable carers

"THE government is to change the law to speed up the adoption of children in care and make it easier for foster parents to adopt those who are living with them."

"In a dramatic legal change to be introduced in the next session of parliament by Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, relatives of children being put up for adoption will have to prove that they can provide permanent stability and `restorative care` to children who may have suffered sexual abuse and trauma from a violent or mentally ill parent."

"The four-year strategy is designed to ensure that courts `prioritise adoption` and stop children languishing in care or being passed to multiple temporary foster placements."

"Foster parents, carers and potential adopters will have the same right as parents and relatives of the child to put their case in court.
However, critics last night warned that the changes could lead to more family members being denied the right to look after their own relatives."

"John Hemming, chairman of the Justice for Families campaign group and a former MP, said the changes would create a `one-way conveyer belt` towards adoption, rather than a `complex series of judgments` that could include placing children with family members or giving parents the chance to rehabilitate."

"A grandfather of five, writing an online article for today’s Sunday Times, has called for a public inquiry into the practice of forced adoption, which he says has destroyed the life of his daughter. The family has lodged a case with the European Court of Human Rights."
"The grandfather, who cannot be named for legal reasons, watched as the three youngest of his daughter’s five children were taken into care. They have now been put up for adoption. He and his wife are bringing up her oldest two children — but their mother has been forbidden from seeing them except under supervision."
"The government’s new adoption strategy will recommend that babies under the age of two be placed with foster parents who may want to adopt them permanently."
"Councils and adoption agencies are to be publicly shamed if they do not act quickly to find adoptive families for children in care. Ministers want them to prioritise adoption for children who have suffered traumatic abuse."
"There will also be more state support for families who adopt disabled children as well as those with behavioural problems, and this will be extended until the children have reached the age of 21."

 "The strategy follows concern about a fall nationally in the number of children in care being adopted."

"The new strategy recommends greater use of innovative ways of finding new parents for children in care — such as adoption parties, and `adoption activity days`, when potential families can have a day out with children looking for homes. It will be backed by £14m of government money."

"Sources close to ministers said there was concern about a lack of `common sense` by some social workers."
"`These are children spending all day in dirty nappies who might be placed with a cousin they have never met when there are many loving couples out there desperate to adopt,` said a Whitehall source."

Although the situation in Scotland is different, with its Children`s Hearing system, it is moving in the same direction and is pushing for earlier and more adoptions.

One thing that is the same both north and south of the border is that grandparents have no rights in relation to their grandchildren.

Speaking to the campaigning group Grandparents Apart, I was informed that grandparents who wish to put themselves forward as carers of their grandchildren - say, if the parents have a drug issue - are invariably asked to attend a family centre. There they are observed with their grandchildren by `specialist` social workers who write a report.

When the grandparents eventually see the report they are often shocked to find that small insignificant details of the contact at the family centre have been blown out of all proportion. The grandparents are found to be unsuitable as carers. It seems that the authorities prefer forced adoption of the children to strangers rather than keeping children within their families.

Of course, some of the organisations that are upset about falling adoption rates are the adoption agencies which run like private companies.

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