Mothers who agree to temporary fostering risk ‘adoption by stealth’

fostering and adoption

Women from troubled backgrounds who agree to have the babies taken into temporary foster care run the risk of losing them permanently a charity has claimed.

Following a freedom of information request the Family Rights Group discovered that 127 such babies have been placed with foster carers who have already been accredited as adopters. No less than 111 of these were less than six week old.

Although no figures are available for subsequent permanent adoption, the group believes that under the fostering for adoption scheme a significant number of mothers risk losing their children via “by stealth”. As the name suggests, the scheme allows prospective adopters to foster children before formal adoption.

Vulnerable mothers may not understand the possible consequences before agreeing to temporary foster care they insist. Many are seriously disadvantaged by a lack of access to legal advice, said the charity’s chief executive, Cathy Ashley.

“It is much harder to get a baby back than it is to keep a baby when it’s not been removed. So it can be adoption by stealth.”

Before the introduction of fostering for adoption, The Guardian reports, most such mothers could reclaim fostered children if they chose to do so.

Photo by Till Westermayer via Flickr

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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4 comments

dr. manhattan62 - July 10, 2017 at 7:46pm

“Mothers who agree to temporary fostering risk ‘adoption by stealth’

So what that means in None-stealth English is – Mothers who agree to temporary fostering risk there child being stolen by means of lies and deception.

st - July 11, 2017 at 4:03pm

Welcome to the Best Legal in the world

Caroline Roberts - July 16, 2017 at 7:51pm

The biggest issue is foster to adopt placements and the lack of clarity from social services. This is something that needs addressing within legislation and local authorities. When a baby is taken into foster care, while a parent is being assssed, if that placement is both a registered foster carer, but also has passed everything to adopt a child it becomes very messy. Especially as their is no legal aid available to a parent who has signed a section 20 agreement and most have no understanding of the consequences of this agreement or the rights they hold as a parent.

dr. manhattan62 - July 17, 2017 at 2:17pm

Another area not very clear is when parents are advised Not to sign a S20. or to withdraw a S20 after signing it.
are they any better off not signing, especially when the LA will very likely seek an interim CO from the court and take the children anyway.

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