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New year, new start, new life! A remarkable story of Kinship Carers commitment!

by Ridley&Hall in Kinship Care, Nigel Priestley, Ridley & Hall Solicitors posted January 18, 2015.

Jada Louise is a beautiful child. She’s nearly two. 2015 has so many opportunities for her as she starts her new life in a new country with her new family.

Her story might have been very different if her mother’s cousin and her husband had not been passionate about her staying within her extended family.

Stacey and Adam are a young couple in their early 30s. Stacey is from Huddersfield, Adam from the South West. But instead of staying in England they have started a new life in the Far East.  They both now work in Singapore. They have their own daughter. They work hard to keep in touch with their extended family in England. For the moment they see their future in staying and working in education in Singapore.

In 2014 they heard that their very young relative, Jada was in foster care. She couldn’t be cared for by her parents. Members of her extended family in England had been assessed and ruled out as Carers. Adam and Stacey were never asked to be assessed – and they had no idea about the events unfolding in Calderdale.

By the time they found this out, the court had agreed to an application from Calderdale for Jada to be placed for adoption. Undeterred, they began a long and expensive fight to get her placed with them in Singapore. They began by simply asking to be assessed as Carers even tough a final order had been made. The local authority refused.

An application as made to court to put the Local Authority plans on hold. The Judge agreed. They came back to Yorkshire to make sure they were available to be assessed.

As Le Tour whizzed past their Barkisland cottage they were seen by a Social Worker and introduced to the child. In a process that made pulling teeth seem a painless alternative, the local authority were eventually made to accept that placement of Jada in her extended family was the best option. It took the encouragement of a judge who knew Singapore well to help the Social Services team to think again – and some remained determined to the last to pursue their own plans for adoption.

But it wouldn’t have happened without skilled and determined legal representation – and their commitment to change the Local Authority’s plans.

Adam and Stacey recently came back to UK to see friends and family. Looking back on the events of last summer  Stacey said “Adam and I are so happy having Jada living with us. She attached to us very quickly and she fell in love with our biological daughter Lila almost immediately. She constantly asks for Lila when she is napping and she likes to kiss and cuddle her. She is such a great big sister. Of course the two of them like to fight over toys on occasion but I think this just makes them true sisters!

Jada enjoys receiving all the love and affection and attention that we offer her at home. Iit is so nice to see her giggling when she is happy. It was such a great privilege to see Jada meeting her extended family, some of whom had never met her before.

It is difficult to remember life without Jada. She truly is and always a part of our immediate family.” 

expertise in placing children abroad with kinship carers

Commenting Nigel Priestley, Senior Partner at Ridley and Hall Huddersfield, a law firm which specializes in supporting kinship carers said, “We had to move very quickly in this case. Calderdale wanted to have Jada adopted and simply wouldn’t back down. They claimed that they had a family waiting for her. But my clients were convinced that Jada would be a perfect fit in their family. Adam and Stacey are remarkable. They committed time and a large sum of money to make sure Jada stayed in her extended family. They dropped everything to make themselves available for assessment.

The Council’s attitude was bizarre. Thankfully they eventually saw sense – but must now contribute to my clients’ costs.

Jada now has an instant sister, committed carers and she will grow up in a dynamic part of the world! And she will be able to know and see her extended family in Yorkshire. Without Adam and Stacey stepping in she would have faced an uncertain future.”

We have developed an expertise in placing children abroad with kinship carers. I’m delighted that acting for kinship carers abroad, after hard fought battles children have successfully been placed in Uganda, Pakistan and Malawi – as well as Singapore.

For further information, please contact Nigel Priestley at Ridley & Hall Solicitors on 01484 538421 or email nigel.priestley@ridleyandhall.co.uk

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