Adoption Panel for Birth Parents
By law, any plan for a child to be placed for adoption has to be considered by an Adoption Panel.
The function of the Adoption Panel is to make a number of recommendations, including:
- whether a child should be placed for adoption;
- whether prospective adopters are suitable to adopt;
- whether a child who has a plan for adoption should be placed with particular approved adopters.
The Panel is a group of people who have an interest in adoption from a range of perspectives - for example, Social Workers, County Councillors, Medical Advisors, Legal Advisors and others who may be adopted adults or who have adopted children.
The Adoption Panel must take the following information into account when making their recommendation about whether a child should be placed for adoption:
- a child’s Permanence Report containing all the information collected about the child and the reasons why it is felt that adoption is the best plan for them.
- the legal duty of Hampshire County Council to consider a child’s welfare throughout his/her life,
- any relationships a child has with their parents, relatives and other significant people and the likelihood of these relationships continuing and the benefit to the child if it does continue,
- the ability and willingness of the child’s relatives and significant people to provide a secure environment in which the child can develop, and their ability to meet the child’s needs,
- the wishes and feelings of the child’s relatives and significant others, including birth parents
- the child’s own wishes and feelings about any decision are also taken into account (in view of the child’s age and level of understanding).
Where the Panel recommends that a child should be placed for adoption, it may also give advice to the local authority on whether or not a Placement Order should be applied for and any proposed contact arrangements.
Birth parents have the opportunity to see and comment on what is written about them in the reports for the adoption panel. Birth parents do not attend the Adoption Panel, but it is important that the panel knows their views and feelings about the proposed plan for adoption and the proposed contact arrangements after placement for adoption.
Birth parents are encouraged to write to the panel, or to ask someone to write down views and opinions on their behalf or to help them make an audio tape expressing their views. Birth parents views can be passed on for consideration to the Panel (along with all the other information they have) either via the social worker or by writing to:
The Adoption Panel Administrator, Hampshire County Council CountyAdoption Services, Glen House, Glen Road, Swanwick, Southampton SO31 7HD
The Adoption Panel will make a recommendation to the Adoption Agency’s Decision Maker on whether they feel a child should be adopted.
The Agency Decision Maker’s final decision will usually be made within 7 working days of the Adoption Panel meeting. Parents will be told of this decision within 2 working days and will then receive confirmation of the decision in writing within 5 working days. If the Adoption Agency Decision Maker decides that a child should be placed for adoption then this decision will be placed before the court.
If the court does not agree, then adoption cannot happen, even if the Adoption Panel and the Agency Decision Maker has said that it should.
Find out more about Adoption Support
Tel: 01489 587543