Boy’s dreams for ‘a proper mum’ are left in limbo

HAPPY FAMILY -- mum Jade and boyfriend Jayson with youngsters Charlotte and James at their home on Meadow Close, Hucknall -- DISPIC NHUD11-2975-1.
HAPPY FAMILY -- mum Jade and boyfriend Jayson with youngsters Charlotte and James at their home on Meadow Close, Hucknall -- DISPIC NHUD11-2975-1.

A FRUSTRATED mum from Hucknall says she is “in limbo” in her attempts to adopt her partner’s son — after being told their aren’t enough social workers available to take on the case.

Teacher Jade Thompson (25), of Meadow Close, has been in a relationship with boyfriend Jayson Stirland (28) for more than three years. They have a seven-month-old daughter together, Charlotte.

But Jade wants to adopt Jayson’s son, seven-year-old James.

The youngster’s mum died when he was a baby and he is excited about having a “proper mum” and becoming a complete family.

Jade and Jayson have filled in all the necessary paperwork. But their adoption application needs to be checked and reviewed by a social worker employed by Notts County Council.

Now they have been informed by letter that there isn’t the “staffing capacity” to do the job.

Officials say they must give priority to children who are in desperate need of new homes after suffering abuse and abandonment.

No time frame has been placed on potential delays to Jade’s adoption bid.

“We are absolutely devastated by such a response,” said Jade. “Of course, we appreciate that there are many at-risk and needy children in need of adoption and to be looked after. But it seems we are being told that our case is not important.

“We do already see ourselves as a ‘proper family’. However, we feel that our family would be made more complete if I adopted James.

“I would also have parental rights to him and if, for example, he needed medical attention and his dad was not present, I would be able to OK it.”

Jade is also confused that their application would be processed by the same social workers who would deal with more extreme cases where children have been abandoned.

Notts County Council confirmed that the reason behind its decision over Jade and Jayson’s case is down to staff and workload pressures.

The council’s adoption manager, Shelagh Mitchell, said: “With private adoption applications such as this one, the council’s role is to prepare a report for court on an applicant’s suitability to adopt.

“Currently, we need to find permanent homes for about 45 more children each year who are currently being looked after by foster carers and for whom we don’t even have approved adopters for.

“Our priorities have to lie with those children, some of whom have suffered significant harm or who are temporarily or permanently unable to live with their birth families because no family member is able to care for them.

“Where a child already lives with its family and has no other involvement with social care, it’s unfortunate for them that we are unable to prioritise their case and that they might be subject to a longer waiting period than they would ideally have hoped for.”