The Truth About Adoption (Panorama, BBC1)

(88 Posts)
hester Wed 14-Dec-11 22:05:55

Just realised I missed this! Did anyone else see it? Any good?

Maryz Wed 14-Dec-11 22:10:07

I didn't see it, but I've read the thread in Chat and there are a lot of people who know very little about adoption on that one hmm.

I wish I could watch it, but can't see i-Player, so if anyone knows where else it it, let me know.

I couldn't watch it tonight, because the kids were up and I thought it would be pretty traumatic.

Oggy Wed 14-Dec-11 22:13:07

It was very distressing.

I know very little about adoption so I don't know whether my comments are welcome on here based what Maryz has said.

I did also find it a little exploitative if I'm honest.

exoticfruits Wed 14-Dec-11 22:15:10

Only saw the last 15 minutes unfortunately, where a lovely little boy called Conor with a loving foster family who want to adopt him is now put on hold until next March because his birth mother has delayed in on a 'technicality' and didn't appear interested in the DSs welfare.

hester Wed 14-Dec-11 22:16:28

Oops, just saw other thread. Will dive over there.

Oggy Wed 14-Dec-11 22:17:46

exoticfruits - she had me feeling sorry for her for the entire programme until she came out of that court and gloated about how the foster carers wouldn't get him now. Made me so upset and angry,

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 14-Dec-11 22:20:00

it was absolutely heartbreaking for everyone involved. I really felt for the birth parents of all the children, but at the end of the day, it is about what is best for the children.

Maryz Wed 14-Dec-11 22:20:47

Oh, sorry Oggy, I didn't mean to criticise anyone. I just find on adoption threads there is a lot of "oh, what lovely children, I'd love to take them all home with me" type comments.

People have the best of intentions, but it is much more complicated (and much harder on everyone involved) than anyone who hasn't experienced it could ever imagine.

Of course, all opinions are welcome smile.

exoticfruits Wed 14-Dec-11 22:22:07

I only saw the end when she was paying more attention to makeup etc than getting there and then the gloat at the end was horrible. I missed anything to be sympathetic about. (I wasn't at all sure that the tears weren't just for the camera-but as I didn't see the start it would be unfair to say).

hester Wed 14-Dec-11 22:37:55

OK, I've read the other thread. Almost glad I missed it now.

Oggy, of course your views are welcome (and I know Maryz won't disagree with me grin). But I understand why she posted that. tbh, the comments on that other thread did quite upset me - not because anything malicious or hurtful was said, just because it brought home to me (yet again) how very far the general public is from getting 'the truth about adoption'. I'm not blaming individuals for that - FGS, MNetters are an educated lot and the quality of debate on here is (usually!) high. And I'll happily talk to anyone to explain to them 'the truth about adoption' from my perspective. But there IS so much ignorance, and so much well-meaning but misguided opinion, and our adopted children have to negotiate that every day. So it can feel wearing for us sometimes.

oinker Wed 14-Dec-11 22:44:39

My eyes are burning from all the tears....
There were some spectacular errors by social workers which inevitabely resulted in so much uneccesary heartache for all involved......
The adoption process needs a massive shake up...
I've been on the adoption path for nearly four years now. I have a DS adopted earlier this year am now doing concuurent planning with newborn sibling... And yes.... there have been some major cock ups along the way...

Glenshee Wed 14-Dec-11 22:47:42

hester, is there anything more specific you could share to illustrate your point of view? I'm guessing your post is so generic because you have piles of events/situations which contributed to it, but for me (and I'm one of those people from general public, I guess) it's hard to see what you mean... Thanks!

Oggy Wed 14-Dec-11 22:50:36

Thanks Maryz, I shall join in with gusto!

Exocticfruits, I felt sorry for her becuase she had her son taken away at birth (rightly or wrongly I will never know) and she is now in a position that even though SS now agree she is able to look after children, it will never be able to happen with Connor. It feels a sad waste for her and Connor.

But like I say, that gloat at the end killed all that sympathy.

Surely adoption by the foster carer is the only viable option?

I think it is entirely right that they didn't show in stark detail how difficult those children might be and the extent of their issues. I appreciate it may have created a rose-colored picture of them, but they are vulnerable children taht don't have the capacity to consent to their lives being opened up for the public in that way. I feel it's a bit inappropriate that they were identifiable if I'm honest, but there you go...

PeppaPigandGeorge Wed 14-Dec-11 23:02:59

I think the biggest single thing that could be done for children is a change in the law allowing care proceedings to be started before a child is actually born. As it is, social workers have to start at birth, and then convince the Court that a child should be subject to a care order and then placed for adoption. If a child has to be adopted against the wishes of its birth parents then it has to be right for the child that this takes place sooner rather than later.

This isn't an argument for removing the rights of birth parents, btw, just an argument for being able to start the process earlier, during pregnancy, rather than just at birth.

hester Wed 14-Dec-11 23:16:07

Glenshee, I just posted on the other thread about three issues - disruption, sibling adoption and how we explain to our children. They're good examples! How does it affect me and my dc? Mainly in these ways:

1. People - even almost perfect strangers - always want to know why my dd was adopted. In the main, they want to know if the birth parents fitted one of two stereotypes: horrid abuser or troubled young woman who was let down by the system. Reading MN threads, you would think that those are two distinct categories. I can cope with fending off these questions, but my heart aches for my dd that she will spend a lifetime doing so, starting long before it is a resolved issue for her.

2. People often talk of adoption as sweet or heroic, and think that all is needed is lots of love, and good adopters (not the bad ones who refuse siblings or have problems with their children) are full of love. A couple of posters on the other thread said they wanted a big house where they could take in loads of children and give them loads of love. This completely misunderstands why we adopt (we're not heroes) and the realities of raising adopted children. Whcih means that when we encounter problems - like with disruption - we are judged very harshly. Because obviously we just didn't have enough love.

3. People really underestimate the damage that our children have to cope with - from neglect, abuse, exposure to drugs or alcohol in utero etc. These problems can't all be cured by love. I think many people imagine that adoptive parents get all sorts of help, whereas in the vast majority of cases we get NOTHING. I have read so many MN threads in which adoptive parents have been judged really harshly, without any understanding of what they have to deal with or how pitifully inadequate normal good parenting may be.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 14-Dec-11 23:23:03

I am a foster carer and have to agree with hester, people can sometimes look at things through rose tinted glasses when it comes to children in care- it is true that for many children lots of love will not 'fix' things- often the problems run far too deep. My own foster son suffered years and years of neglect and I often find it hard to imagine him ever being able to live independently.

Kewcumber Wed 14-Dec-11 23:28:25

hester - I am heroic though - was called "wonderful" again today hmm m going through a bit of a run of it at the moment... anyway I smiled nicely and said "well, lucky is maybe a better way of putting it"

PeppaPigandGeorge Wed 14-Dec-11 23:31:23

Hester's post is one of the best posts I have read on adoption from the adopter's perspective in quite some time. There is nothing really to add to it. The statement "we are not heroes" is one of the most accurate things I expect ever to read on MN.

Maryz Wed 14-Dec-11 23:33:45

I don't feel at all heroic atm sad. Sadly I am one of the parents hester mentions, the harshly-judged ones, where an adopted child goes off the rails so everyone assumes that (1) there is something wrong with him, (2) I wish I had never adopted him and would like to send him back (like some defective goods hmm) and (3) I just don't love him enough to overcome his sense of displacement and his inner misery sad.

Love unfortunately isn't enough for many of these children.

I know myself that I'm doing pretty well (thanks to being able to talk about it all here and getting a lot of support here), but to the outside world it is a different story.

bran Wed 14-Dec-11 23:34:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lilka Thu 15-Dec-11 07:35:48

I think they missed a real opportunity with the sib group of three, to explain a little about trauma and how it can impact on a child. It only needed to be brief to get the point across - but they didn't and it gave the wrong impression about the disruption. The only hint about how difficult it must have been was when their foster carers (very experienced) said they were struggling to care for them.

I am going to brave the chat thread now!

Oggy Thu 15-Dec-11 09:20:41

Lilka, I take your point but I think any comments about trauma and problems that arise need to be spoken about in general terms rather than in the context of particular children, especially particular children that currently have no actual parent minding their best interests.

LifeHope11 Thu 15-Dec-11 14:08:28

I almost wish I hadn't watched as I found it so distressing....all of the children's stories were upsetting but the story of Connor seemed to show so much about what was wrong with the system.

In my view is seemed so obviously in his best interests to be adopted by the family who had cared for him since he was a baby & were willing to adopt him....whatever the rights/wrongs of the decision to remove him from his birth mother at the time that decision was made and cannot be undone, trying to retrace and removing him from the only home he has ever known would be cruel. Yet his birth mother could have the adoption process held up on a technicality. Like many others I don't feel that she was focused on Connor's best interests at all, more about asserting her 'rights' as birth mother.

Does anyone else with experience/knowledge of adoption (I have very little) have a view?

snail1973 Thu 15-Dec-11 14:53:20

Just watched it. Gosh, it certainly made me cry, but I totally agree with others in that I wish they had somehow got the point across that sometimes children are hard to place because actually they are hard to parent. They didn't do that at all. I don't mean they should have shown any of the children behaving badly, but they could have given some general info about it in the narration.

I have already had one mum say to me at toddler group today that she said to her husband after watching last night that they 'just have to adopt some children' because it's all so awful. Of course it is awful that there are so many children waiting, but it's just not that easy to fix this problem...

magso Thu 15-Dec-11 15:56:47

Made me cry too - especially for the children. It felt rather intrusive to see details of the featured childrens lives but at the same time the reality of the difficult emotions and situations were self explanatory. I would have liked to have a little more on why adoptions break down ( although not the specifics for the 3 siblings featured). I suppose you are left to work it out for yourselves.

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