Hi. I have a brother who has Down’s and we were taken into care when I was 9 and my brother was 4.
I ended up in a care home and he was adopted. His adopted parents allowed me to see him a few times but put a stop to it, as they said he was very upset every time I left and it took them days to settle him again.
I’m now 16 and haven’t seen him for 6 years.
I no longer know where he lives or anything. Do you know if I have any rights to see him? It wasn’t either of our faults we were taken into care but feels like we are the ones being punished for it. I looked after him when younger and really want to see him again.
I would love to know my rights if you can help me please.
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TheSprout has teamed up with Meic – the national information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people in Wales – which has posted as Aunty Sprout below!
Aunty Sprout’s response
It sounds like you’ve had a really tough time of it. Being separated from your brother must have been really difficult for you. I’m sure it does feel like you’re being punished for something, when you’ve obviously done nothing wrong.
You said that you have been brought up in a care home. If you are still living in that care home you are entitled to the support of an advocate. An advocate is someone who can help you express your views and wishes and to make sure that your voice is heard. Your advocate would then be able to make sure that the right people are told that you would like to start having contact with your brother again.
If you do not know to get an advocate get back in touch with us at Meic. We can point you in the right direction. We would just need to know where you live.
However, I cannot promise that you will be able to start having contact with your brother again. It is possible that you might not have the right to see him as he has been adopted and you are both still children. Your advocate would be able to look into this further for you.
When you are 18 you will be able to add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register at the General Register Office. You can add yourself to the register to try to find an adopted person by filling in a form online. There are also guidance notes to help you fill in the form.You’ll be able to find people who have also added themselves to it. Your brother will of course also have to be 18 before he can add himself to it.
When you are 18 you could also use an intermediary agency to help you trace a birth relative if you were adopted or you’re related to someone who has been adopted. There is a fee for this service.
You can use an intermediary agency if:
- You were adopted before 30 December 2005
- A relative of yours (including a relative by adoption) was adopted before 30 December 2005
When an intermediary agency finds a person, you can only contact them if they agree to it. If they don’t agree, the agency won’t tell you their name or whereabouts but might be able to share some information, like:
- Their domestic or family circumstances
- Their general health and well-being
I hope this information helps. As I said, please don’t hesitate to get back in touch with us at Meic if you need help getting an advocate.
Take care of yourself 🙂
Meic – the national helpline for information, advice and advocacy for children and young people under 25 in Wales – can be contacted free by phone on 080880 23456, text on 84001 and instant message on www.meic.cymru. Follow their campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter too.
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