Council considers finding adoptive parents from USA for British children

(16 Posts)
drspouse Thu 21-Feb-13 10:56:22

Actually this is not the completely mad idea it would seem.

In the US it is common to adopt teenagers. Here, most teenagers are only considered for long term foster care, and adopters won't consider them. Some adopters in the US have adopted a few teenagers and are very experienced and great parents to this group.

There are other groups that are not considered adoptable here, but are in the US, in particular slightly older children (not yet teenagers) who've been through adoption breakdown.

For that group this could work. I personally feel that adoption should be possible for older children who want to be adopted.

Lilka Sat 09-Feb-13 22:40:24

How many cats you have IS an entirely needed and appropriate question, aas are many of the questions that may initally seem not to affect your parenting ability

Some children hurt animals, some are innapropriate with them, quite a lot of the children need a home without too much stimulation and business (so in that case 10 noisy cats = not a good thing, whereas 1 friendly house cat = probably fine). It's about knowing what their home life is like, so the right child can be matched with them. It's about what the child needs, and the SW's need enough information to know whether child X would cope with life in that home.

It's not about capability to parent blanket, its about what kind of child can they parent in their circumstances. Couple X who are wonderful, caring people with parenting experience, and who are devoted to their 6 cats, 2 dogs, 10 chickens and the fish....are probably not capable of parenting child Z who has been known to stab fish with scissors and hit, kick, injure and bully dogs and cats. That's a real example, not made that up

Yes, some agencies have had silly rules and not wanted single poeple and people have had to contact other agencies. The good thing is there should be an agency who will approve a person in that circumstance. In my experience there have been a few people denied when they should have been assessed, but conversely people who are 45-50, and with life limiting illnesses etc approved and matched. It's by no means a universal thing that people always get turned down

Domjolly Sat 09-Feb-13 22:05:28

I do understand but i think the starting point should always be uk adopters we wouldnt have enough if we approved all the adopters that come forward your correct

But its really not helpfull when people do comeforward. They are told actally we dont need adopters here WTF or old there to old to single to, middle class not the right mix

And you would surpised how off putting stupid questions put people off espically when they have nothing to do with your capacity as a parent if you very new to adoption and havent any any dealings with ss i can see how this would outrage people in my view pretty much the only things that matter is how things would effect your capacity to parent

How many cats you have or wether you have it twice or four times a week should not be asked

All these people who get turned away we will never know what type of child they would adopt

Many have been turned down by LAs only to go on to be aprroved by VAs and thank god but who knows how may get warn down by sw and havent the strength to go on

I myself know somone who wAnted to adopt a sibling group of asian children but was old they wouldnt be considred because even though asisn themselves were the wrong type shock they moved to canada and now have 4 adopted children they could have taked 4 children out of care here its madness

Lilka Sat 09-Feb-13 21:36:20

Mmm, but even though some people are turned down, there are many LA's which approve a diverse range of people - including people in their late 40's/50 ish, people with disabilities such as Cystic Fibrosis, people with difficult backgrounds, and so on. Why do you think LA/VA is an issue (out of interest, I've never really seen a huge difference between the two when it comes to adoption)

And even if no one was ever turned down, we still wouldn't have enough adoptive parents for SN and older children. If child A is 8 years old, has issues with being aggressive, has ADHD and needs direct contact once a year with birth mum...if child B is 6 years old and displays innapropriate sexual behaviour towards other children and adults and attachment issues with a serious need to control the household....if child C is 11 years old...and child B has fetal alchol syndrome, a heart defect, serious global developmental delays and limited vision...who will adopt them?? Most of our approved adopters want younger children and they do not want or feel unable to cope with more than mild emotional issues. Approving more adopters won't significantly alter what kind of children they are looking for (IMHO). We'll have more adopters than needed for young healthy children and still a serious shortage for the others.

I am on an American based forum and there are plenty of (care system) adopters there who are willing to adopt teenagers, children who live in locked-down residential treatment facilities with MH problems, quite a few want sibling groups of ~6 children at once!! You get people coming on asking for information to help them decide whether to adopt this child they are interested in, who is diagnosed with ODD, RAD, PTSD and ADHD and is on 6 medications at once (including 3 psyhcotropics) and has spent some time on a psych ward, but appears to be doing better now after improving in a residential facility. And I'm thinking 'What?? Wow, I wouldn't consider adopting that child!" And you know in some of those cases the children do actually do pretty well in their new families. But WHY would these children NEVER be adopted in the UK? UK parents wouldn't want them. IMHO it's a societal/cultural thing, not to do with the system which is in many ways similar over there (for foster sytem adoption anyway). How do we change the cultural bias against adoption in our society, and specifically the bias against older children and children with SN? I guess there will always be less people wanting older children than younger, but when I read the American board, I am left thinking there is a serious difference in people's perceptions of waiting children between our societies

I don't think one question 'are you happy with your sex life' is going to actually stop someone adopting if they are serious about it. Americans adopting from their own foster care system are asked exactly the same sex questions we are, and yet that doesn't put people off adopting.

In international adoption, adopters are assessed by their home country, so the hypothetical Americans would be assessed by their own agencies with the UK specifiying anything they need to have.

edam Sat 09-Feb-13 21:20:08

Oh Lord, some idiot has been on a course and heard about 'blue sky thinking' or 'thinking outside the box'... and failed to realise this is actually quite a serious issue involving real, live, extremely vulnerable children.

Shades of Barnardos sending British 'orphans' to the 'colonies' in the 1940s and 50s to be horribly mistreated in abusive orphanages.

Domjolly Sat 09-Feb-13 21:11:49

But the reason we have to few adopters is our own fault

Adopters being turned down locally Irrespective of the local need
( many potential adopters told they are not needed in there la shock)

Also the assessment process has a lot to be desired for Reports that some sw are asking potential adopters about there sex life will never help drum up more adopters.


Also the differences between LA and VA Is a real problem i really dont think americans would tolerate our long drawn out assessment process

Lilka Sat 09-Feb-13 20:52:42

Well, for the same reasons some Americans choose international adoption from countries like Russia and Poland etc. They specifically do not want a baby, they want a toddler or preschooler but they don't want any legal risk (because in the US a mother who relinquishes obviously has a time period in which she can change her mind, and you can't adopt that young a child from foster care without being a foster parent, and that carries the obvious risk of returning the child to their original family after months or years of looking after them), they are uncomfortable with the idea of marketing or advertising themsevles to pregnant women, they think that a 'hard to place' child needs adoption more and no one else will adopt them if they do not (unlike a baby)

There are far more waiting couples than there are pregnant women choosing adoption. I heard that in some areas it's 25/1 to 40/1. Some people are waiting 5 years or never ever managing it. Other people do manage it really really quickly. But it's literally pot luck on whether pregnant women like the look of you or not.

Here in the UK, whilst I utterly agree that in some cases it's taking far far far too long to make a decision and children are spending years in care with no final decision made as to their future, even if we speeded up decision making, we still have too few adopters for all the waiting children. We need more from all backgrounds and wanting older and SN children

Domjolly Sat 09-Feb-13 20:05:06

This is a red herring if the courts stopped faffing about letting indecision rule then the children would be hard to place.

To think a child could come into care a newborn and still be waiting at 5 or six for somone to deciced there fate

And sorry to be so cynical but why would somone for the us want to adopt a brotsih child when they can adopt a american child usually from birth pretty much in half the time with out half the checks you need here.

Kewcumber Wed 06-Feb-13 14:27:50

We already have a designated central authority DCFS. Having dealt with the intercountry adoption team myself, it would probably be quicker and easier to knit yourself a blanket made from fairy wings than get them involved.

Lilka Wed 06-Feb-13 14:14:48

Exactly Kew. I don't have any objection to international adoption in principle, but this idea has been proposed solely as a money saving exercise and that makes me really quite angry and sad. Our children deserve better.

If they were proposing it for children who are hard to place here, but might find a home elsewhere and they were talking about of as for the children's sake maybe I would be more receptive to it. I know from reading on the other mostly American forum I'm in, that many Americans who adopt (or at least proportionally many more than in the uk) are looking for sibling groups of 3, children aged over 5 and children with sometimes many special needs. So I'm sure they might find families for some hard to place children therefore. But realistically - you'd gZve to spend loads of money doing it!! You have to assess and identify the few children who would actually benefit from this, set up a central system to process it like other countries have, then make sure the parents are properly vetted (last night I was reaching a thread where most people said their home studies took between 1 and 3 months!) and so on and so forth. It would take lots of time and money

Kewcumber Wed 06-Feb-13 13:13:00

On one level I don't have a philosophical problem with it. I can hardly adopt from another country and have a problem with children from here going to another country!

On the other hand the practicalities seem to be a problem to me. Its really only applicable to children who are hard to place here (every country I know gives 6-12 months priority to domestic adopters) who would in the majority of cases I would have thought would handle the massive upheaval least well. I can envisage a scenario when it might work well for a child - fresh start, no change in language, experienced adoptive parents etc.

But only where its in the childs best interests. I'm horrified that a child in the system can publically read about plans to find the cheapest solution for them.

Maryz Mon 04-Feb-13 21:54:49

It's mad shock.

Any children who are "adoptable" (ie are relatively young and relatively unaffected by their early life) will find parents in the UK, surely. Especially if they stop rejecting people for silly reasons and have a good look at their stance on ethnic matching. Of course, they would then have to give post-adoption support to those people hmm.

If they want to increase the number of foster carers they can encourage them by housing them in houses that can fit extra children. Reading the latest bumph on housing benefit and the fact that they are reducing it for "spare rooms", they aren't going to get many foster parents with room for children.

And finally, who is going to "vet" the US parents - because it seems to me that the home studies done in America leave a lot to be desired.

gallivantsaregood Mon 04-Feb-13 21:35:52

Surely not...... Reeks of days hone by and Barnardos......

Devora Mon 04-Feb-13 20:26:46

My jaw is hanging open. I'm off to read the link...

Lilka Mon 04-Feb-13 20:11:43

oh and 6. Why isn't the DM all over this story? Clearly they don't know about it, given their current adoption obsession. I can imagine the headline now....

Lilka Mon 04-Feb-13 19:57:41

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Council-seek-adoptive-parents-cut-costs/story-18021243-detail/story.html

My thoughts on this, came in this order

1. Um, What?! Backtrack a bit....might have read this wrong
2. No they're actually serious. Oh right a working group, bet there weren't any social workers in that group, because this does NOT sound like something many social workers would like the idea of!!
3. We're not this desperate yet are we? sad
4. This was raised as a way to cut costs?? Oh yeah, don't think of the children. Because hey, we can save money here! No bill for post adoption support at all, we can dump (4000 miles away) and run!! Yay for cost cutting <realistic cynicism>
5. Surely this would be practically impossible?

Thoughts? Assuming this was more than just a pie in the sky idea and they actually wanted to explore it more seriously

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