The Truth About Adoption (Panorama, BBC1)(88 Posts)
Just realised I missed this! Did anyone else see it? Any good?
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 .
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.
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.
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.
Oops, just saw other thread. Will dive over there.
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,
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.
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 .
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).
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 ). 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.
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...
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!
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...
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.
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.
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.
hester - I am heroic though - was called "wonderful" again today 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"
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.
I don't feel at all heroic atm . 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 ) and (3) I just don't love him enough to overcome his sense of displacement and his inner misery .
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.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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!
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.
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?
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...
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
I can't find this on iplayer? Are there legal issues and they can't put it on there maybe?
some times iplayer isnt availible untill a few days. especialy bbc, seems to be upto 3 days for some programes
Thanks festi - will look out for it
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 not
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!!
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?
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.
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.
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?
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)
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
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...
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??
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.
Please be aware that the big push for adoption, which is partially financially motivated, could lead to a grater use of treatments described at http://invisibleengland2.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/first-hand-account-of-holding-therapy-in-the-uk/
Please see -
invisibleengland2.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/first-hand-account-of-holding-therapy-in-the-uk/ if the above link doesn't work. Please don't turn the other way. 40 Looked After Children continue to experience this on a weekly basis.
I think what has been described in that block is abusive, however the correct use of holding therapy would not advocate such treatment. There is no indication of when this occurred, the person may be a much older adult now, unfortunatly abuse was far more widespread, I just hope this has not been experienced in this day and age. I would like to think that things have moved on and developed.
It seems that adoption is very much on the political agenda now. Martin Narey, the governments adoption advisor (formally of the Home office and Barnardo's) has called for a 50% increase in the number of adoptions. In many cases adoption appears to be the right option but there is also a real financial pressure to reduce the number of (much more expensive) foster placements by raising the age of children who are considered for adoption - many older children cannot settle in adoptive placements, often because they still identify with their birth families. There is a real danger that this trend could lead to more examples of the practices that can be seen at - invisibleengland2.wordpress.com/
Professor Edzard Ernst's exclusive interview can be seen here. Follow the blog and see the campaign progress
I have personal knowledge on many levels that Holding Therapy of this kind continues to take place with the 40 children within the programme.
I have mumsnet blogged about The Truth About Adoption
I have two adopted children and had that feeling you get when you actually know something about a subject in the news ......
Hi All, been a while, been busy with work and study!
I watched the programme and found it quite upsetting. Being early in the process I just couldn't help thinking that I would be causing that hurt to a birth parent. In reality though this is not the case - children who are placed for adoption have already had that decided for them and be it me or anyone else, they would not return to their birth parents. What is wrong is that after so much time, birth parents are still able to cause delay.
I didn't feel Connor's bm had 'severe' learning difficulties but maybe that is becuase of my own experiences of people who do. However, her judgements were questionable. Also, looking after a child from birth will not be the same as having a child with difficulties return to her. Remember the effects of being removed, fostered, placed for adoption, disruption and then going back to a foster family who he has attachments with and being removed again is not an easy situation for a child to deal with.
I also felt that after such a long time, contact with the three siblings and Claire (bm) was not necessarily a good choice although she clearly loved them and they her, telling a child that they wont see their bm again and then this being changed will only lead to further uncertainties for the child and a lack of belief in what he is told in the future (imo).
Finally, the SW needed to sort out her priorities. If a child has been abused by a male then other factors need to be considered but she seemed ready to reject a family if the man got the children ready in the morning or if the family didn't have/refused to get a dog!!!!! I appreciate their love of dogs but seriously???
I don't recognize information that a stranger posts in the internet unless its backed up with some evidence (that isn't forced adoptions bonkers website - ie a reputable source) FACT
sw dont steal children.there is no national target or quota for "stealing children"
and saying FACT after a whopping big lie doesnt make it a fact
hope that helps
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
you are posting alarmist provocative posts about SW and adoption
clearly you have a ishoos
and youre coming across a bit daft
the ss wont even let stella`s husband have the children as he is a serving solder in the army. he fights for his country but the ss take his baby
have you had access to confidential case notes,transcripts and reports
or is this het up angst gleened from google and daily mail
hemming is a joke,not credible
isnt he the prolific shagger with a mistress and hatred of sw
youre a very shouty preoccupied poster,a bit out there
think what you want ............... your probably a social worker or someone related to one. the facts are out there about ss its up to you if take note of them or not.
i wish i could post pics on here of social workers and caffcas workers who have been jailed for either their abuse of children or lying in the family court.
pictures? do go on whistle blow about these heinous workers
if you have robust substantiated evidence of bad practice you must share it with authorities
or is this an online rant and some heresay gleened.id not quote hemming as your main man either
CAFFCASS FOUND GUILTY.......PORTSMOUTH NEWS
SOCIAL WORKER LIED TO COURT ABOUT CHILDREN
CHRISTINE PURCELL MADE UP DETAILS FOR A REPORT IN PORTSMOUTH CROWN COURT
SHE PLEADED GUILTY IN COURT AND WAS JAILED FOR 12 MONTHS.
THIS WAS IN THE PAPERS OTHER CAN BE FOUND IN THE PAPERS TOO
THERE OUT THEIR FOR THE WORLD TO SEE
sorry but it is not nice to call someone who is telling the truth a liar. don`t you agree ?
I didn't see this unfortunately. Hope it comes onto iplayer soon.
I did watch something a couple of years ago on fostering which was shocking. So many kids get moved about, so many times in their lives, and by the time they get adopted they usually have difficulty attaching as they have learnt not to with the foster families. One family had a girl who had been moved so often that she was aggressive and made family life very hard for all of the other children as well as the parents. It clearly was due to her re-homing, but the family had few ways to deal with it without complete counselling. There was no funding for this AT ALL. Their point was that if you are going to mess a kid about so much, at least have the balls to put some funding into sorting out their poor heads before dumping them on a family to deal with.
It also pointed out how much each child costs in the foster system which is equivalent to a very high end full time boarding school.
I was annoyed as I looked into adoption before having DD and was basically told that as a single woman with savings and a house that wasn't enough. They were going to talk to all of my ex partners (how they thought this was a good judge of someone I have no idea) but the whole process could take 4-20yrs, if it ever happened. So I could be 50 with a small child but not single and 29
a foster carer gets between £250 and £450 a week (depending on who their employer is) per foster child.
http://www.false-allegations.org.uk/false-allegations.html. another link for everyone to have a look at
are you just posting identical links on every adoption thread thats current?
I'm not going to engage on this thread.
i am trying to get people to see the truth thats all.
I have reported all your posts.
If you wish to discuss these news stories, I would strongly suggest that you do so elsewhere.
Please thisisreallife stop it. I've seen your posts elsewhere and actually have a lot of sympathy with your view point. However, going at adoptive parents like this is not the way forward. Really and truly they do not undertake adoption lightly and they really believe (rightly or wrongly) that their children really could not stay with their birth families
I am no fan whatsoever of social services and family courts but the vast majority of these parents are just doing their very best for the children placed with them. They are not the ones who wrote the assessments, made the home visits, made decisions in court etc. etc. they are the wrong people to target so please use your energy to target those who deserve it not caring adoptive parents
i am trying to get people to see the truth thats all.
My Ds's truth is that he was relinquished. Can you find an article about that and cut and paste it several times?
Most adoptive parents I've ever met are very aware of and sympathetic to the cases where parents and children have been separated due to below par work from social services or lack of resources to facilitate families staying together.
Having said that - most adopted children I have met (adopted in this country) have either physical proof of abuse (eg cigarette burns) or are old enough to know and recount the abuse and neglect they suffered. Accepting that a minority of cases should not have ended in adoption does not require a belief that the majority of cases should not have ended in adoption.
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