Sunday, 15 October 2017

Adoption Week: What, again ?

Yes it's that time of year again when adoption agencies and organisations seek to publicise the importance of matching children who wait with families who can care for them in the long term. In case you have 'National week' fatigue please bear with me.

National adoption week is a reminder that there are still children who do not live with their birth families - for any number of reasons. That as a society we overlook children and young people who do not have security or long term prospects. It is also a way of educating people who have very little idea about what adoption is or what is involved. I have a personal dislike of inaccurate portrayal of looked after children in the media. Whether it's on an advert or a TV show or in a children's story I find it really difficult to tolerate the depiction of children are 'in care.'

Earlier this week I listened to a radio show presented by Lemn Sissay called Origin Stories. In it he talked about being in foster care and how he chose to see it as a superpower. Then he retold the Harry Potter story from the point of view of the Dursley's who 'fostered' Harry when his parents' died. It was a far more sympathetic portrayal than JK Rowling chose to depict. It also gave credance to the notion that just because a child has had a difficult past it doesn't mean their future has to follow the same negative pattern. The longer a child waits to be placed in long term care the harder they become to match with suitable carers. We were told that once a child is over 5 years old their 'appeal' to prospective adopters plummets. This is a person we're talking about here. A child who has already experienced loss and separation and trauma.

When we first approached local authorities to be assessed as potential adopters they just didn't want to know us. Hubbie and I are different ethnicities and they told us they wouldn't have children who matched our racial mix so it wasn't worth us being assessed. No, seriously they said that to us for real.  It beggars belief that this is even a concern, but hey I've got all week to tell you about that.

So,  I'm going to post about adoption this whole week. I have so much to say about this topic and I hope you will find it interesting. Maybe you could even share the posts if you can - that is the whole point of having a 'national adoption week' after all.


National Adoption Week 2017 will take place from the 16th to 22nd October. As in previous years, the need to find families for some of our most vulnerable children remains at the heart of this year’s event. National Adoption Week 2017 will focus on the need to find the right adopters for sibling groups.

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