Determining the best approach for Children in care has been the centre of prominent parliamentary debate this year. A yearlong inquiry by Lord Laming determined that children who grow up in care are six times more likely to commit a crime than other young people. This significant demarcation led to the government announcing its intention to introduce new legislation to tackle these concerns about the care system.
In May, the Children and Social Work Bill was introduced in the House of Lords. The goal of the Bill is to improve the opportunities available to children in care as they grow into adulthood. A key aspect in reaching this altruistic aim is increasing the number of children adopted when it is in their best interests.
As a result of this, courts and local councils will be required to take better account of a child’s need for stability when determining Adoption decisions, which can be a difficult outcome to reach. A variety of factors impact upon the process, such as determining the suitability of the adopting parents and whether the change in environment would be for the best of the child.
Outlining the adoption process
Plans to speed up the current adoption procedure in order to raise the number of children in permanent families are positive. However, these plans will not replace the careful process in place to identify the best course for the child. The current process can be easily navigated with experienced, appropriate and expert legal advice.
Firstly, the legal rights of the birthparents need to be revoked, usually with their consent save in certain circumstances/situations. Following this, potential adoptive families are assessed in respect of if they offer a fitting environment for the child. After the child has lived with the adoptive parents for at least 10 weeks, they can then apply for an adoption court order, which gives legal parental rights. Establishing these details is essential before removing a child from of care and placing them into a new family.
Our barristers have many years experience handling adoption and childcare proceedings. Through a considered approach to protecting the child’s welfare, we can assist prospective parents, local councils and other relevant parties in establishing the best course of action for vulnerable children in Essex.
Contact us on 01245 605040 or by email at [email protected] to instruct one of our expert barristers in Chelmsford.
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