Brother and sister, Ross (10) and Suzanne (14), have lived with their foster carers Karen and Megan for five years. Their foster carers have spoken to them about the possibility of adopting them.
Their social worker Stephen told Suzanne about Clan Childlaw and she texted them to find out more about adoption. A solicitor from Clan Childlaw arranged to visit Suzanne at school one day. The solicitor asked Suzanne how she would feel if Karen and Megan adopted her and her brother. Suzanne says she thinks of Karen and Megan as family and would like to be adopted.
The solicitor explains to Suzanne that in order to adopt her and her brother, her foster carers would have to apply to court. Since she is over 12, she must agree to be adopted. If she doesn’t then there will be no adoption. The solicitor explains that it is slightly different for her brother because of his age. As he is under 12, there isn’t a requirement for him to agree to the adoption. However, if he can understand the situation and has a view on it, then the court must take his views into account. The court will also look at reports and views from other people like social workers.
The solicitor explains that an adoption order would give Karen and Megan full legal responsibilities and rights for her and her brother, and take away their birth families legal rights permanently. Her birth parents would need to agree to the adoption or the court can decide that their agreement isn’t needed. The court will only allow an adoption if it decides it is better to make an order than to leave things as they are. An adoption order can’t be reversed or changed.
The solicitor was able to support Suzanne and give her information about her rights in an adoption order.