Giving up a child for adoption is never an easy decision. Before reaching such an important decision it is important to think about what this will mean for you and your child, now and in the future. Not least because following adoption, your parental rights would transfer in full to the adoptive parents, and you would not be able to make decisions about your child, including whether or not you can see them. Placing a child for adoption is a very big step, and unless the person who they are placed with is a very close relative (such as a brother, sister or parent), you must involve Surrey Children's Services.
Getting support if you are thinking about placing your child for adoption
Your GP or midwife can refer you to Surrey Children's Services for help and advice, or you can contact Surrey's adoption team directly if you think that adoption might be the right thing for your child.
- Surrey Children's Services will contact you to offer support and advice.
- If you would like us to arrange temporary care for your child pending adoption, we will arrange a foster placement for your child, and you will be able to see your child by arrangement.
- Until your baby is six weeks old you cannot formally give permission for adoption. After that an officer appointed by the court will meet you to check you understand the full implications of adoption.
- While you make the decision about adoption we will ask you to share information about yourself for your child to have in the future. You can also tell us what things are important to your child and we will use this in helping chose the right adoptive parents for them.
Children's Services have told you that they think your child should be adopted and you don't agree
Sometimes Children's Services have concerns about a child, and have reached a conclusion that the child should be adopted. This only happens after strenuous efforts are made to support the parents and to consider whether there is a friends and family carer from the child's network who might offer care. Only after all options have been considered can Children's Services recommend to the court that a child is adopted against their parent's wishes, and the decision whether or not to go ahead with adoption rests with the court.
If you are worried that Children's Services are recommending adoption for your child, and that you need advice, you would be entitled to legal representation within the court process. We can also arrange for you to discuss the implications of adoption with a birth relative worker – a specialist social worker who does not have a role in making any recommendations to the court. This specialist can talk to you about:
- The adoption process
- How contact works, post-adoption
- Your hopes for your child
- The type of family you would wish for them, if they cannot live with you
- Accessing counselling
The Family Rights Group can provide you with information as well.