Adoption & Special Guardianship
It may be that during the care proceedings, the Local Authority recommends that there is no alternative, but for your children to be placed for adoption. In the alternative, it may have identified suitable family members with whom it would wish to place your children under the auspices of a Special Guardianship Order.
A Special Guardianship Order is an Order appointing one or more people to be a child’s ‘special guardian’. It is intended for those children who cannot live with natural parents and who would benefit from a legally secure placement. Such an Order gives the children’s carers ‘super parental responsibility’ which means that they can decide, for example, what schools your children should attend, whether they have any medical treatment and whom they see. However, even in such circumstances, you should, as a parent, be informed about any major decisions regarding your children.
A Placement Order can only be made if it is the only option available and is generally regarded as an order of ‘last resort’. More often than not, a Placement Order will result in your children being placed for adoption, but it is possible for you to apply to revoke a Placement Order if there has been a major change in yours or your children’s circumstances.
Even if your children are placed with an adoptive family, the Local Authority will still need to apply for an Adoption Order and you will be given the opportunity to oppose such an Order being made. However, in respect of any application to revoke a Placement Order, the test is quite high and you will therefore need to satisfy the Court that your circumstances have changed to such an extent that you are now able to care for your children.