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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Our daughter is currently a looked after child under sec

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Hi, Our daughter is currently a looked after child under sec 20 CA1989, due to a relationship breakdown with mum. This resulted in her fighting with mum and going missing on several occasions, resulting in us not being able to keep her safe. We have full parental responsibility. She has been having contact with her godmother, however after the last visit she returned to her foster carer and was very upset because her godmother had been 'dissing' mum. The week after this contact she went missing from school and threatened to commit suicide. She initially said that she wanted no further contact with her godmother, but has now changed her mind. In view of this we emailed godmother to ask her to arrange contact via us, so that our daughter would not feel pressured. She refused and sent us a very nasty and hurtful reply. We have spoken to our daughters social worker and the IRO to ask them to stop this contact, they have both replied that because she our daughter has expressed a wish to see her then the contact can continue. Up until this incident our daughter had no wish to have contact with mum, however this has now changed and they have a couple of contacts, which have gone well. In view of the last incidents with godmother we are genuinely concerned this might have a significant impact on the mum / daughter reconciliation process.
In view of this, is the social worker correct? Can the fact that our daughter wishes to see her godmother over rule our parental rights
Hi, thank you for your question. How old is your daughter?Is the godmother the grandmother? If not, is there any other way they are related?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Our daughter is 12yrs old (b 23/05/2003). No the godmother is not related in any way.
Thanks. Legally speaking, only you and the mother have parental responsibility and can make decisions for her. The local authority do not share parental responsibility with you as it is a Section 20 agreement so it is for you to decide whether your daughter has contact with the godmother.As there are concerns that the godmother is making inappropriate comments about the mother then this is grounds for you or the mother to stop contact between them. The godmother does not have an automatic right to contact with your daughter and legally speaking you are allowed to stop this, despite her not being in your care, and despite the child indicating she wishes to have contact with the godmother - it is not for her to ultimately decide who she has contact with due to her age.You should inform the social worker of this and that there are concerns that the godmother is not acting appropriately due to her comments. If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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