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?

Lilka Thu 15-Dec-11 16:44:45

magso - Generally, the two biggest reasons that adoptions break down is

1. Emotional, behavioral or other difficulties that were not expected
2. LACK OF SUPPORT ffrom adoption services, school etc

The second is often the biggest factor. I am speaking as someone who was extremely close to disruption several years in. Luckily the support did arrive before I decided to disrupt - but it was the lack of therapy for her, counselling and support for me and similar which meant I couldn't cope. Not my daughters issues in themselves though she was very very hard to parent, but no support. Post adoption is a post code lottery at the moment and in some areas it is absolutely dire

cuppatea2 Thu 15-Dec-11 19:49:44

why couldnt conor's birth mother have him back if she is currently considered fit to parent? Although her preventing the adoption by the foster carers has not helped her son, surely if she is a "fit enough" mother he should be placed back with her? Thats got to be the best solution for an child when it is safe and possible?

Viewofthehills Thu 15-Dec-11 20:02:31

She looked a bit "borderline" fit to parent to me.Her new baby was eating a whole packet of crisps to himself!
It would be difficult to see how she could meet the needs of a 4yr old who is used to living in a lovely house with a loving family.

Oggy Thu 15-Dec-11 20:14:50

I don't see how going to live with someone he has never (to his memory) met is better for him than staying in a lovong home he has spent his entire life in.

I appreciate that if the birth mother is fit to parent it is a personal traversty for her and the situation should never have got to this point.

But, it has, and the best interests of the child have to be paramount and that little boy has one person he calls mum, one he calls Dad and 2 girls he calls sisters who love him and want to give him a home for the rest of their lives and who he clearly loves.

cuppatea2 Thu 15-Dec-11 20:15:01

sorry, I meant if social services have deemed her to be fit

They have deemed her fit at this moment in time to parent her new son. However, ss are keeping an eye on her. It seems the stability and relationship with her new partner are key in her ability to parent.

From what I saw she was managing okish with support. She does have learning difficulties and seemed unable to prioritise Coner's needs over her own.

I've been on an adoption panel and there are far more shades of grey than the general public perception of birth parents, foster parents, adoptive parents.

festi Thu 15-Dec-11 20:50:16

can I ask what your thoughts on the reviewing officer was? I felt he was portrited as very judgmental towards the foster carerers where the placement had broken down and very impatient and short fused with the social worker during the planning meeting.

I could understand his shock at the placement breaking down after three years, but we don't know the back story or how much info he had.
Thought he was very impatient during the planning meeting.

I did find on panel that we had to try to stick to allocated time slots, sometimes as little as 20 mins and i did not feel this was enough time even for the more straight forward cases.

Lilka Thu 15-Dec-11 21:26:50

festi - I could have hit the man! Stupid and judgemental to the adoptive parents.

For a program called 'the truth about adoption' it had little to do with actual adoption placements. It was more about how the children and birth parents fare in the foster care system

festi Thu 15-Dec-11 22:34:16

interesting to see the responses, I too could understand his frustration but I felt that the editing made it to black and white with regards to the breakdown, which im sure it was not for the family and the children. I did feel the true issues where glossed over those particular children.

has anyone ever looked on C4EO it is on the scie website and has some resourses about the portaial of children in care within the media, I briefly looked at it whilst doing an essay a few months back and I looked for it again today thinking about how the children where portraited in the programme last night, but couldnt find what I had previously viewed but I wondered if there where particular guidlines panorama had been senitive to.

NellyDean Fri 16-Dec-11 17:20:39

Connor's birth mum described herself as having mild learning difficulties, but I would say they were rather more severe. She was like a little girl and I don't think she had much concept about the damage she was doing to Connor by creating a situation where he had to live with more months of uncertainty. But then again, in the foster mum's situation, I wouldn't have told a 4 year old until it was all finalised.

Birth parents' challenges are common cause of delays in adoption, more usually at the point of awarding the placement order. Many have learning difficulties, mental illness or drug problems and may truly believe what they are doing is in the children's best interests.

I'm going through the adoption process at the moment, currently looking for a match. The programme just reinforced why I'm doing it - sometimes that can get lost when you are so completely taken up by the adoption process and the end result of having a family seems so far, far away.

I thought the documentary was quite good, but there were some unexplained and misleading things in it. What had really happened with the sibling group and their adoptive parents? Why hadn't they actually adopted after 3 years? It seemed a peculiar situation and it was inferred that the prospective parents had just tossed them aside, but I'm sure the situation was far more complex than that.

And where was the represenation of all the BME children that are awaiting adoption for far longer than white children? I suspect that the programme producers decided that this was to difficult and contentious subject to approach, likewise for disabled children.

TheChristmasCountessOlenska Fri 16-Dec-11 17:40:46

I can't find this on iplayer? Are there legal issues and they can't put it on there maybe?

festi Fri 16-Dec-11 18:20:13

some times iplayer isnt availible untill a few days. especialy bbc, seems to be upto 3 days for some programes

TheChristmasCountessOlenska Fri 16-Dec-11 18:27:58

Thanks festi - will look out for it

sittinginthesun Fri 16-Dec-11 18:29:55

It is on the virgin iplayer - I started to watch last night, but had to turn it off, as too upsetting. I have a friend who fosters. Her current child is a gorgeous little poppet, and we are all crossing fingers that a match comes up soon, but it is heartbreaking to think it may notsad

magso Fri 16-Dec-11 19:03:50

Festi - I too saw red at the reviewing officers comments re the breakdown of the 3 sibling group. It was he had no idea of the difficulties taking on 3 children - or indeed adopting traumatised children. I would have been mad at the system for either not giving as much support as possible to help it work!!

cuppatea2 Fri 16-Dec-11 20:13:03

its on panorama on iplayer, if you put panorama in the search box it will come up

i wondered about Kieran and his sisters, reading between the lines (i thought they made it obvious but in a subtle way) it seemed like there was a significant problem with the 3 children, remember the "very experienced" foster carers saying it was very unlikely that any family would be able to manage all 3 children.

I did have a question though, (owning up here, I bawled my eyes out when Kieran sobbed as he embraced his Mum to say goodbye, because although he knows she cannot care for him she is to him the loving mother figure that he so longs for) - why would she and the children not be given contact during the adoptive placement? I couldnt understand that, if some contact is better for the kids (and it seemed like it likely was), and open style adoptions are more popular now where possible, then why the 4 year period when she had absolutely no news about the children? There wasnt even one way letterbox contact from the social worker or adoptive parents?

Lilka Fri 16-Dec-11 20:26:39

I am pretty angry to be honest, about them showing Kieron and his sisters case on tv. It started so soon after the placement disrupted, with those horrid comments by the IRO.

I really feel so terribly sad for the adoptve parents. I bet there were big problems with the placement I would put money on a lack of support from SS. That IRO who made those comments, would have been the same one probably involved with post placement meetings etc. So he really should understand what was going wrong. Now the local authority take them back and immediately let them get filmed, and allow an impresion to go out that the adopters just gave up. I doubt that. Now so many people in their community will have seen the program, and the parents now have to face them, many with judgemental attitudes. How much hatred and judgment are they going to experience now? They've been royally screwed over by coventry SS. angry

festi Fri 16-Dec-11 20:34:06

there was quite significant neglect and harm cupatea and although Im not experienced to answer your question I would say that closed adoption gives a chance for a new start. It is very difficult for children to conect and belong in the best of adoptive placements, but with the emotional disruptions contact can have im sure it is often deemed to be in the childs best interest to have no contact at all. It is easy to forget there is a reason the children where removed from the mother and My personal view is breaking damaging relationships are far more benificial for many vulnerable children.

frankie3 Fri 16-Dec-11 20:41:37

But if her suitability to look after her children is based on the support she has from her partner because of her learning difficulties , what would happen if she and her partner were to split up? Would her son then be put into care?

Lilka Fri 16-Dec-11 22:06:17

frankie- rather depends. Possibly her partner would become the full time parent. Possibly she would continue to manage to parent with support, although that is more unlikely. Care would be the last resort if neither could care for him, nor their relatives (his relatives would be checked presumably)

maypole1 Fri 16-Dec-11 22:41:09

frankie3 if they were to split I very much doubt she would be the primary carer the most likely thing would be dad would have the child

Rocky12 Sat 17-Dec-11 16:11:20

I supported a friend through an adoption. Time and time again the birth mother put a spanner in the works and then withdrew, she caused lots of problems and ss gave her chance after chance. Eventually she got pregnant (again!) and disappeared and the adoption went through but I think ss do favour the birth parents (Baby P etc) And what on earth is this birth mother's 'partner' in all of this. So if the relationship breaks down he becomes the carer. A complete stranger as opposed to a loving family...

Lilka Sat 17-Dec-11 16:52:11

Rocky - I thought we were talking about Kerry's partner and younger son? She and her partner live together and are raising their son together. SS are allowing her to keep her son because he is living with her. If they split up, he would probably become the full time carer. How is he a stranger to the son he has been raising since birth??

maypole1 Sat 17-Dec-11 19:40:35

He is not conners dad and has most likely never meet him as she met him after the first adoption failed so he is a stranger to conner and it's would also about he would be able to raise some other mans son.
Whom he has never met and regards someone else as his dad.

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