How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask plclegal Your Own Question
plclegal
plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4421
Experience:  Barrister at law
101823876
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
plclegal is online now

My husband, who is the stepfather of my biological son, is

This answer was rated:

Hi. My husband, who is the stepfather of my biological son, is currently in the process of adopting. We've hit a bit of a snag as our social worker who we are trusting to guide us in the right direction has made contact with my sons biological father who abandoned him as a baby and who does not have any parental rights to consent to the adoption
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Yes we have app form 58 and we r now in assessment stage with SW
Assistant: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Dorset Bournemouth
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope. Just want to know what to do now

Hello, my name is*****'m a barrister and will do my best to assist you today.

Please bear in mind as this is an email service and not live chat I may not respond immediately.

How old is your son?

Was the biological father named on the birth certificate?

Thank you

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Peter, my son is 16 and no, the father's name is ***** ***** the birth certificate. In a phone call prior to my initial contact with the social worker doing our assessment she called to ask his name. Me, trusting her judgement and expertise gave her the name regardless if its not in the court papers or the Birth Certif.

OK.

I understand.

As the adoption order would remove the opportunity for the biological father to obtain PR, the social worker is obliged to make contact and notify the biological parent that they can apply for leave to challenge the adoption - it's part of the legal process.

The likelihood of a successful challenge is very slim though, if there has been no contact for 16 years and your son views your husband as his father.

Yours son's views are important because of his age too.

So whilst it is a legal step that has to be completed, it should hopefully not impact on the eventual outcome.

Is there anything I can clarify?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She contacted him via Facebook, confirming his identity via a picture and a voice note he left on her whatsapp. He has obviously now been informed about what we are planning and told my sons location etc. She has been in contact with him extensively and has given him details of the adoption which he is not legally entitled to. She has also pressurised us mainly my son pass along a picture to his bio father which my son stated clearly that he is not happy in doing as the man is a stranger to him.

OK. In this case the SW has overstepped the mark in my view. For example, the biological father has no right to know the location of his son if you wished to keep this information private. Have you raised this with the SW;s line manager?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have been in contact with the adoption agency and her manager but they do not see ny view in the fact that she has overstepped.
She came to my house pushing us to hand over a picture as she said it will jeopardise our application to adopt.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She also on 2days later texted me asking for the birth certificate as she could not find any on file
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Surely she should have had all her documents on file before continuing the assessment and making contact with relevant parties?

Is this an agency or the local authority completing the assessment?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The birth certif along with all our other identification docs and marriage certif was given to her colleague during our initial contact. The adoption agency is appointed by the local council.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Through Bournemouth Council
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Aspire Adoptions

OK. I would suggest making a formal complaint to the council. The important point is that your son's welfare and potential safety have been compromised - the SW knew nothing of the biological father and whether or not he posed a risk to your son. So by pressurising him into making contact and by revealing your location she has not acted in his best interests. Again I don't think it will compromise the application, but there are still grounds for a complaint.

I hope this assists.

If you have further questions, you can always come back to me.

In the meantime, if you could take a second to provide a 5 star rating I'll be credited for my time spent responding to your question.

Kind regards,

Peter

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks Peter. Will do

My pleasure. Kind regards.

plclegal and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Peter, me again. So Cafcass who is the representative for the child during these cases just contacted me
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ive been told the social worker still make contact with the birth father regardless if he has Parental Responsibility or not to advise of the adoption
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Although he does not have the legal right to give consent the court apparently still require a full report which incl. Both parents
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Now my question is, where does one draw the line regarding confidential information shared with relatives? Especially since the court requires contact?

I've answered this point in your new question. Thanks.