National Adoption Week – How does the Court decide if a child should be placed for adoption?
National Adoption Week
National Adoption Week 2019 takes place from the 14th-20th October and aims to raise awareness about adoption and encourage people to consider adoption as a way of providing children with a loving home. This year, the focus is on finding homes for children who have been waiting to be adopted for months or even years, including disabled children, BAME children, older children and sibling groups. Currently, there are over 4,000 children waiting to be adopted in the UK.
The Family team at Crane & Staples are experts in care proceedings and can assist parents, family members and prospective adopters with adoption matters. In this article, Children Panel Solicitor, Janet Martland, explains the legal proceedings that may result in a child being placed for adoption.
How does the Court decide if a child should be placed for adoption?
As a Children Panel Solicitor, one part of my job is to advise parents in care proceedings about adoption and placement orders.
In every case, the Local Authority considers all the potential placement options and one of those options is placing the child for adoption.
A placement order gives the Local Authority permission to place a child for adoption.
To make a placement order, the Court must be satisfied that the threshold criteria is met, which means deciding if the child concerned is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, and that the harm is because the care given to the child is not what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give them.
The Court’s paramount consideration when deciding if a child should be adopted is the child’s welfare throughout their life.
The Court can make a placement order without the consent of the parent, if it is decided that the welfare of the child requires consent to be dispensed with.
The Court must make a finding that nothing else will do except for a care plan of adoption.
Being an accredited member of the Law Society’s Children Law Scheme means that I am a specialist in this area. I regularly represent parents as parties to care proceedings, as well as representing the children themselves (through their Children’s Guardian). I also represent prospective adopters in cases where it is necessary for them to have separate legal representation. This is a complex and emotive area of law and I approach each matter with the sensitivity and respect it deserves.
Please do not hesitate to contact our Family team on 01707 387073 if you require any advice about adoption proceedings.