Fostering to Adopt only to be used as part of care proceedings says Coram

Published: Monday 10th July 2017

Coram comments on a new report by the Family Rights Group on the use of Foster to Adopt placements along with Section 20 by local authorities.

Responding to the report being launched today (10 July) by the Family Rights Group which highlighted the number of local authorities using Foster to Adopt placements along with Section 20 which allows parents to place their child in care on a voluntary basis, Jeanne Kaniuk OBE and Managing Director of Coram’s Adoption Services said:

“We wholeheartedly support this piece of work by the Family Rights Group  - it is inappropriate and risks violating parents’ rights when fostering for adoption placements are being used without family court proceedings.  Parents who place their child in care voluntarily would not understand the implications of a Foster for Adoption placement without legal advice. If  parents voluntarily wish to relinquish their child for adoption, they receive counselling to ensure that they understand the implications of this.  However unless there is an unequivocal request by the parent/s for adoption, children should only be placed in Foster for Adoption placements if they are already subject to court proceedings, so that the parents’ rights are protected and the long term welfare of the child can be assessed.  

"We fully support the FRG’s call for parents to receive free legal advice prior to a Foster for Adoption placement being made so that they fully understand the process by which their child is being placed and the rights they have, and our Coram Children’s Legal Centre works hard to support parents facing such situations."