Case Study: Amelia & Jane (adoption)

Amelia already had a child when she met Jayne. The child’s father only knew Amelia for four months and Jayne did not put his name on the birth certificate. He did not want anything to do with the pregnancy. Neither Amelia nor the child has been able to trace him and Amelia never knew his surname. Jayne now wants to adopt the child and become a second parent, having lived with them both for six years.

“I contacted our local social services, who explained the legal options and alternatives to an adoption,” explained Jayne. “They told me I needed to give three months’ notice in writing of my intention to adopt and this document has to be factual and not contain any feelings or emotional language.”

The document must state the child or children’s full name(s) and date(s) of birth, with a copy of the birth certificate(s) included and the full name(s) and date(s) of birth of all the interested parties, including details of the child’s father. “The letter was co-signed by Amelia as biological birth parent, and by me her partner,” said Jayne. “Had we been able to find the father we would have asked him to co-sign. As it was, we showed what we had done in trying to find him through various databases.”

Laws on adoption vary according to regions of the UK. In England and Wales, the next stage was to go to a local Magistrates Court or County Court and get three copies of Adoption Application Form A58. Amelia explains: “There is an administration fee which has to be paid when filing the forms

in triplicate; we had to provide quite detailed information. It’s long-winded but we knew that if we got through it, my son Danny would have two legal parents. We wanted to make sure that if anything happened to either of us, Danny would have a legal guardian to care for him until he was 18.”

Once Form A58 is completed, the court will ask a social worker to provide a Schedule 2 report: this means all parties must be interviewed, separately and together. Once these are completed, the couple are given a date for when the court will formally meet to consider the application.

“It took nine months and it was agony waiting, because you really feel like they are sitting in judgement on your ability as a parent, so it was tough,” admitted Jayne.

Adoption courts always explain that theirs is a choice concerning the welfare of the child rather than the emotional and psychological state of the would-be adoptive parents, and that their guidelines are always about what is best for the child. Because there are other choices of legal status, the courts need to look at all options.

“Because Danny’s father didn’t marry Amelia, we did’t need his legal agreement to the adoption,” said Jayne.

“I had already drawn up a legal parental responsibility agreement with Jayne”, said Amelia. “It was informal, but part of our deposition was to show how Jayne had paid money from her account into an account in Danny’s name. Finally, we got our wish and the adoption went through almost three years to the day when we filed the letter.”

The My Future Family Fertility Show offers a chance to spend a day surround by a full range of exhibitors who all focus on helping you to start your family, no matter what journey you decide on. It is friendly and welcoming and you can attend seminars or access free confidential 1-2-1 advice.

For more details about when the My Future Family Fertility Show is next taking place, please check out our Fertility Show page.

The My Future Family Fertility show supports a wide range of alternative family options including:

• Surrogacy • Fertility options for older women • single women • Fostering & adoption • LGBT parenting • Co-parenting by choice

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