"Finding Mum and Dad" - Channel 4, 10PM on the 15th(86 Posts)
This program needs its own thread
It explores adoption parties as a way of finding families for hard to place children, with a special focus on two little boys called Connor and Daniel, aged 7 and 5 now.
The Daily Mail have done an article about it today and also spoken to another family who found their son (who has a complex heart condition) at an adoption party - here
Heartbreakingly, the article says that the 3 adoption parties Connor and Daniel have attended haven't resulted in them finding a family. So the newspaper articles and the Channel 4 program are the last last ditch and if there's no family found through the TV program, then the boys plan will change to permanent fostering instead.
Also heartbreakingly I wonder how this is going to impact on them as they grow older if they aren't found a family
Would any of you consider letting your children watch this, aged about 8-10? DS is 8yrs 11mths, and he saw an advert for this and asked what it was about and now he wants to watch. He can't watch on the night with me and DD2 because it's on too late, but I'm not sure whether to record it for him to watch with me at the weekend or not?
Probably best to record and view; then decide?
I'm not sure if it will be mentioned in the program, but one of the key people involved in coming up with the idea for and setting these days up is, themselves, adopted - if that makes any difference.
I'm definitely recording it, because he can't watch something that runs til 11PM. Yes, I'll judge based on what I see and we'll watch it together at the weekend if I decide it's okay for him to watch
Was wondering what age people start letting their children watch adoption documentaries?
Just come back to this to apologise for a crap reply... Was at work so typed a quick reply and when I re-read it I thought 'of course it'll be watched before it's shown'... Sorry!
I'll watch it with interest, especially as these adoption party events were mentioned at our prep group.
Just a reminder guys, this is TONIGHT, at 22:00
Am recording it. These events seem to be making a comeback. I know in the past they could be upsetting and humiliating for older children who knew what was going on. Will be interesting to see how they have changed.
We attended this activity day........
Wow! Maybe we'll get a view of the back of your head?
Only the back of my head Lilka!
We were all asked if we wanted to take part, we declined......
I've already cried twice and it's only the first ad break
O they are such lovely boys and it would be heartbreaking if they have to be separated. They're such little characters. I hope there's a Disney ending for them. Thought it was sad that Connor's nametag suggests he's part of a sibling group but Daniel's doesn't.
The Guardian also did an article on this with some background: www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/11/adoption-parties-best-way-children-parents-meet
holycow I wondered about that too - a mistake perhaps? Or trying to 'market' Daniel separately?
I am already tearful. I would hope though that people will come forward as a result of the programme, surely?
I heard that they still haven't found a family for Daniel and Connor
Oh little Thomas! Tearing up again
However so far the program hasn't reassured me or appreciated any of my concerns about the activity days
Why does one of them have a sibling number and the other not?
Had to go to squeeze my nose, it's melting.
I was surprised in this day and age they are still seperating siblings. After seeing the upset this causes in later life, I find the whole concept rather disturbing!
I presume because they were thinking of letting the youngest go alone if someone was interested
Sometimes seperating siblings is the right thing to do for the children's sake, my daughter's were separated from their siblings and it was the right thing to do. But it should only be done when it's in the children's best interests
Okay celebration hearing for Thomas, crying again
Oh lord, this is desperately sad. And bringing back all the tension and anxiety of trying to get matched...
Those little boys are just lovely. And what nice foster carers.
Poor Connor and Daniel. Such sweet little boys, it's so sad. I missed the beginning, why aren't the foster family able to adopt them? I wish I could.
Gate crashing thread but I oh so really really want Daniel and Connor's Foster Carers to adopt them-I think Katy really wants to...
They don't want too flatmum - think they're too old.
I have to say, I wish they weren't making the age thing sound so simple 'adopters only want babies'. It's more complicated than that. This program, it's like it's blaming the adoptive parents for the boys not finding a home
I'm heartbroken watching this second party and then trying to make the adopters come and play with the boys
I think it's so sad that everyone is so obsessed with adopting girls . Those two little boys remind me so much of my own two - gorgeous kids.
They're my age and I've got a 3 year old. I think she wants to too. So sad in the car when Connor was angling for that. Awful that they are having to try and sell them like they're fanged good when they seem like lovely, well-behaved little boys. Did they say why they had been out into foster care? Hope somebody looking for a family watches this and gets in touch.
I would love to have those boys!
I think the foster parents should adopt them.
Oh dear. They are a lovely pair of boys. Really hoping that they find a match now the programme has aired.
Those two wee boys and their lovely smiles. I'm mum to two small boys and this is breaking my heart.
Flat mum Even if they could most LA really frown apon it
And any wiff of foster carer wanting to the children get removed
I'm so emotional watching this. It's bringing back so many memories of how we felt when we were going through the process.
Those two boys are gorgeous. I hope they can stay together.
We are not in a place to adopt at the moment but once dd is in secondary possibly. It is something we are already talking about and have already said we want an older boy.
Also this need for all siblings to have a separate room even if they have been sharing at the foster carers rules ots people in London out any way most people don't have more than one spare room
We were only allowed to adopt one child because they claim the room is to small for two children despite us being approved to foster two children wants to small then
I'm sure you're right. I know nothing about it. Just breaks my heart. It shouldn't make a difference all Cherenkov deserve a nice family but they are such lovely, sweet boys. I have boys and I know a lot of boys and they are really lovely ones. I can't believe there isn't a family out there for them.
Why do they frown on foster carers adopting?
was so hoping for good news for them, they seemed such lovely boys.
Ah, those beautiful beautiful children. Wish I could have them.
My youngest is almost grown up now but seeing them makes me want to start again. Sob.
Well some sw feel that fc are taking a short cut which is madness because you have to be approved to be a fc then to be an adopter and you will have a fostering recored to be judged on
Some feel like they don't wAnt to loose a good fc
And some times they just don't like it sw can be a funny lot
Stats show that the percentage of boys vs girls adopted is near 50/50, I think last year it was 51% boys, 49% girls, and this doesn't really vary year on year. So the initial greater interest in the girls is not turning into more girls actually being adopted than boys
I hope these 3 boys find a family now
I simply don't understand how there haven't been parents found for those boys. They're just beautiful. I hope there's someone sitting at home, approved and ready who has been struck with Cupid's bow after watching that.
I'm so glad they won't be split up. They've lost so much already, it would be dreadful to have another terrible loss.
I couldn't watch it - i have recorded it though for when i find my balls.
DS is an only child - can't have anymore for medical reasons and i'd adopt in a heartbeat. DP isn't sure though and it's not something i'd try to force. I'd love a massive family and would happily look into adopting sibling sets. I was tempted to put it on when DP was in the room but i know that it would be out of order.
I so hope that those gorgeous children find forever families.
But I watched and the foster carers saoid blythey "oh they've no development problems" but yet I could see that they have. Cos my kid has them so I know the signs. And I just thought all thoae tales you read about not being given the full info, which i'd doubted, suddenly seemed very real. A heartbreaking programme cos I know this is something i'm not strong enough to do.
Very hard to watch, and I really hope appearing on this programme has increased their chances of finding a family.
Heartbreaking that they so desperately wanted to stay with their foster carers too.
It did strike me as odd that Daniel and Connor seem to be so hard to place, when they were bright and well behaved and didn't appear to have any obvious "issues" (and were very physically attractive).
It's not just age either...there could be any number of backgound issues that make these boys (and the other children) hard to place
I only know that for my girls, an adoption party would probably not have been a good idea at all. And that if they were on TV, they would capture everyone's hearts - DD2 is so beautiful (yes, yes I'm biased, but she really is) and DD1 also both pretty AND very good at acting and would know just what to say to a camera and how to look in order to be the centre of attention. But capturing hearts aside, the decision to adopt both of them, and especially DD2, involved a lot of very serious thought because of their needs.
Which is one of my concerns about the parties. The attending prospective parents need to be very careful to not let their hearts rule their heads, and 'persue' a child who has needs beyond what they can handle
Crying my eyes out watching this programme. i can't believe that no-one wants any of those gorgeous children.
The whole "adoption activity day" does not sit well with me. Watching the activity day with Connor and Daniel....it really did seem like the social worker was trying to sell them, like they were a used car or something
Over the years I have often thought about being a foster carer when we have a more suitable property. Watching programmes like these though put me off (if that is the right phrase) - I think I'd get too attached to the children and want to keep all of them with me forever.
I think I might raise the subject of adoption with my DH soon. Our DD is only 15 months, so it isn't something we'd be looking at in the immediate future. it is definitely something that I think I could do, but obviously it would be a major decision for any family to make. Seeing all these "unwanted" children, I think I would want to adopt an older child, like Daniel and Connor. But from what I understand Social Services will only let you adopt children younger than any you already have.
I have two boys. The eldest boy really looks like my ds2. I admit I have been crying since watching this What fabulous little boys. I hate how boys are judged negatively for being physical and wanting to play. The fc was so worried the boys wouldn't come across well when they were crashing into those boxes. She was an absolute star.
Is it the case that if you have bio children you can only adopt children younger than them? I have read as much on here but am not sure if it's a blanket rule or not.
Really, really hope the tv programme will do it for Connor and Daniel and for Scott too.
I agree, Lilka, I dislike how often these programmes talk about adopters wanting 'cute white babies' in a really condemning way. Perhaps I'm a little defensive here, as I adopted a baby girl (though had no choice about that - we were only approved to adopt a girl aged 0-2), but there are three factors which people often don't think about.
First, as Sadoldbag says, many people don't have more than one spare room. Second, many adopters have suffered fertility problems and I am not going to condemn them for wanting to experience parenting a baby, or at least a toddler. Third, social services put great emphasis on preparing prospective adopters for 'the reality' of adoption. Meaning, confront them with truly grim worst case scenarios. They're not wrong to do this, but unleavened by seeing the other side of it, they do tend to leave prospective adopters in a state of terror and unwilling to take the 'risk' of an older child.
I think the only people qualified to criticise potential adopters for this are those who have themselves adopted a 'hard to place' child.
Many of childrens issues are invisible though lily
Or at least, you wouldn't notice them on a short video clip or meeting
Taking DD1 again, her attachment issues and PTSD were really hard to live with, but if you met her briefly as a 10 year old, you wouldn't know. I had people meet us and tell me how much they'd love to adopt a girl like DD1! A girl like what? The well behaved, chirpy, polite, sweet and charming girl you've just met, or the REAL DD, whom I live with!
She said they have no apparent learning difficulties, not saying they aren't developmentally delayed, which they appear to have made good ground on while they've been with her.
So heartbreaking, we both got wet eyes. Saw our previous SW at the round-table meeting!
Pikak, what developmental problems? I didn't pick up on anything but then I've no experience. I really hope they find a family, they seemed so loving.
this room think is making me very angry. Ffs why would those 2 little boys need to be separated into their own bedrooms, thus cutting out all the potential adopters who only have one spare room! What the hell does it matter as long as they have a good relationship and the room is big enough? Lots of brothers share a bedroom.
Devora Exactly. I would never condemn anyone for not feeling equipped to parent an older child, or a child with significant issues - precisely because I've lived it, and the emotions! Funny how most people who do that, haven't adopted and have no intention to do so! I DO desperately want to see more people considering older children and adopting them, but that isn't the same thing at all.
To those who asked - yes, any child you adopt needs to be younger than your biological children, for very good reasons. The age gap SS go on is usually 2 years minimum
I think that if birth siblings have been room sharing in foster care and haven't had any major issues with this, then adoptive parents with only one spare room could be considered BUT they need a Plan B if the room sharing stops working out
But really, unless we're talking birth siblings who already share, it's not a good idea to bring in a new child and make them share their room, which is why it's not allowed except in exceptional circumstances
flatmum, there are often very good reasons why adopted children need their own room. You can't compare it with birth siblings who have grown up with their birth parents. At the point where you apply to get assessed to be an adopter, no-one knows who you will end up being matched with.
I am very proud to be Mumsnet's one and only adopter who was approved to adopt while living in a two bed flat with an existing child. I am the only person I have ever met who pulled this off. (But I did, in the end, move before adopting, and I'm very glad I did.)
Our son was only 2 when we met him and he was considered older for adoption. Crazy!
I think it's inevitable that most adopters will want young children, but I'm convinced improved post-adoption support would make a difference. It's the fear of being left on your own, valiantly trying to parent a really traumatised child, knowing how fantastically difficult it can be to get proper support, that is so frightening.
Adoption of 'hard to place' children should be offered with a much stronger partnership deal with the placing agency, so the adopters can feel confident that whatever happens, they will not be abandoned to get on with it alone.
Well said Devora I completely agree
Yes that makes sense not to bring an adopted child in to share a room with a birth child, of course. I could see how tht would lead to resentment and other issues. I meant more why couldn't adopted siblings like the brothers in the program go to a family with only one spare room? All things being equal of course.
I do understand that it is easy for people like me with no experience of the adoption process to write these glib questions on a forum. And I also understand about the hidden issues and the problems that come with adopting badly damaged children. I am genuinely interested to hear more though. To the layman it does just seem incredible that it isn't easier to place children with parents who are desperate for children - totally get what you are saying about post-adoptive support though.
My parents friends adopted 2 boys from India 30 odd years ago. In those days no one was told anything about background etc though they knew it was bad. One of them settled in fine and had a very good life along with their biological daughter. The youngest didnt and is now a drug addict with a lot of problems. He caused them a lot of issues from age 5/6, although adopted as a young baby. She says now, constantly, I wish wed stopped at 2 and not adopted him, he ruined our life. It turned out he had been terribly ill and abused and has learning difficulties. They were left to get on with it with no support at all, very sad.
I've just made myself deeply unpopular on t'other thread on this subject, Lilka, telling them off for judging potential adopters. I think I'll get my coat and beat a hasty retreat...
No, well said Devora! It needed saying. There's a third thread in Chat too but it's been a while since I looked at it so I don't know how it's going.
I didn't watch the show -- it's all far too recent for me still -- but I can't even begin to imagine going to one of these. FFS, I'm appalled that some adopters get more than one profile at a time because I think it must be confusing!
I think I've killed that thread stone dead
I've posted too now!
Off to investigate the one on Chat now...
Do you think we were too much the meanie adoption mafia? I don't like doing a "Well, speaking as ...." to challenge people, but it just slightly sticks in the craw when people who have no understanding of adoption simultaneously romanticise it while criticising prospective adopters as having too rose-tinted a view of adoption...
I think I may have fallen below my usual standards of articulacy there...
Time for bed!
Watching it now on catch up.
I feel very unsure if I can go to one of these now. I am not sure I would cope very well with it all!
Really uncomfortable with all the talk of 'selling' (a sofa etc), really makes me feel uncomfortable. And the phrase 'working the room' in the relation to the social worker! What else is she meant to do, sit and drink coffee!!
Lilka it is that which would worry me *the talk of 'selling') if I were showing this to any child. Personally, I might say before watching something like 'Those silly adults keep talking about selling a child, we know that it is not like that at all!' Or something similar.
Would rather people talked about choosing someone, a girlfriend, a husband, a friend, even a tennis coach!
Devora I totally agree with you about "Second, many adopters have suffered fertility problems and I am not going to condemn them for wanting to experience parenting a baby, or at least a toddler."
People who have not had fertility problems and can afford to (and maybe some who can't afford to) have as many children as they wish to, they want to get pregnant and they do and they have a baby. I sometimes think there is a mismatch with adoption and people who have had fertility issues. Of course it does make sense but in order to be able to adopt you kind of have to climb out of the mentality of wanting that birth child. But no one would dream of saying to a family who have another birth child, why didn't you adopt an older child instead!
I agree Devora "I think the only people qualified to criticise potential adopters for this are those who have themselves adopted a 'hard to place' child."
BobPatSamandIgglePiggle why would it be out of order to put the documentary on when you r dp is in thr room, it;s on catch up!
* ColdFeetWarmHeart* good luck with talking to your DH. I think it is much more sensible to adopt a child younger than your daughter.
Are there any articles on line about the making of this. Any updates on the kids?
I wonder if they would make a documentary about a profiling or exchange event where kids are not present. Not as 'exciting' or visuual for TV maybe (just people milling about looking at profiles and watching video clips) but I would be interested to hear the difference in terms of outcome.
DD2 watched this with me, by the way
She watched mostly in silence while cuddling me. Afterwards she said, "Mum, that lady said about buying a sofa from DFS. Is it like that?"
At the end, I asked her what she thought and she said, "Uh…I didn’t like it because no one wanted to play with Connor and Daniel and they didn’t get adopted”
She's been left feeling a bit upset
Which only adds to my negative feelings about adoption parties
I do think that the program lacked the adoptee viewpoint. These parties have been going on in the US for some time. I feel the program would really have benefitted if it had interviewed an adult adoptee, or adult care leaver, about their experience of attending adoption parties. If we're doing this for the children, we should be giving those children and adult the biggest voice and giving their experiences a lot of repsect and consideration
Sorry DD2 feels upset about it. Can you reassure her that the outcomes are better? The children would wait longer without those adoption activity days.
I felt the language used in the programme was terrible. Buying a sofa, it's a buyer's market, damaged goods etc.
Hi Im new to posting on here (although I joined years ago)
I have just watched this programme as I recorded it. I have mixed views on the activity day. Many years ago, my grandparents visited a Children's home, spotted my mum and later on adopted her. So perhaps it is quite a nice way to meet.
My husband and I seriously considered adopting a few years ago. We have birth children (although that was by a sheer miracle) and we wanted to give a child a forever family. We went through most of a preparatory course on it. We pulled out about 2/3 through the course because of a couple of factors:-
1) We were told that there was a case going through the courts about an adoptive family who were moving house to another town due to work. The birth parents were against the decision for the family moving and took the case to court. We live 400 miles from family, so if work ever moved us, then we would have to move....even if it was overseas.
2) Adoptive parents who were explaining their experiences said that the child they adopted was from the area in which they lived. Also roads were recognised by the child on a bus with adoptve parent and there was even one occasion of the birth father recognising their birth child through a window (their job was a door-to-door type)
3) Sadly we felt uncomfortable with the prospect of adopting within a 100 mile radius of our home and equally uncomfortable with birth family links, until a child is 18. (From my mother's experience she knew she was adopted from a young age, however without contact she had a very stable upbringing. As an adult, and when adoptive parents had passed away, she found her birth parents. She realises that her life was far calmer and better than it would have been otherwise)
It just might have been the agency we saw ....unsure if its a UK wide thing????
Its a difficult situation and I really hope that a family are found soon for Daniel and Connor - together. They would probably be best sharing a room together for companionship sake .... They seem such lovely boys.
Good luck to all of the children needing adopting.
Our two have been home 6 months.
We didn't choose 1 of each - we were shown one side of A4 with their characteristics, likes, health issues and history - we expressed interest and then were given full info and their photo. We never went any further.
but we had been very clear about what we could cope with and what we couldn't. The 'rejecting' of children isn't quite as it seemed on the programme. Firstly, much of the decision is out of your hands as adopters. Secondly, you aren't saying 'ooh, I really wanted a blonde one'. You might be saying (like we did) 'We have no road access so we couldn't support a child with significant mobility difficulties'.
The phrase 'harder to place' is one that you don't get to understand till you've been through the training etc. this could be children that have experienced significant neglect, therefore missing connections in their brain, causing them to behave or develop sometimes years below where you would expect. This could be children who have memories of sexual/physical abuse - not all parents are strong enough to have those conversations and help a child deal with that - they may exhibit over sexualised behaviour for example - imagine a 2 year old girl doing that....
It could be children whos birth parents have used drugs or alcohol while they were in the womb and who's health prognosis will perhaps never be clear - but certainly can't be predicted now.
most of the children above will present as 'normal, happy, engaging children'. So i think the show made the adopters look picky where the conversation about fit will have been very long thought and tough to do. In my little network of adopters, many people say you never forget the face of a child you turned down - its not something people should be criticised for.
One of the things we've learnt is that people say all the time how sociable ours are - there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the fact that they go up to all sorts of adults (strangers included) and chat is about their brains unconsciously deciding that they need to befriend every adult as the next one they meet could be the next person to take them away :-(.
I love our two massively, but having just had a day of wonderful morning at nursery and then huge 4 hour meltdown as soon as we got to the safety of home, I would be lying if I said it was easy.
The film didn't explain that children don't get to adoption parties until they are in the 'harder to place category. And sadly that has a reason.
There are magazines where childrens faces and profiles are included - we found these so difficult to look at - and friends made comments about 'argos catalogues for kids'.
But the reality is that the ration is something like 100 children to 1 family in this country right now. In my city 300 children are waiting right now - and those numbers have been similar for the last 5 years - only 40 children were placed in 2013.
So I think before we criticise people who are trying to do something about it - we should realise that I'ms ure they wouldn't choose to do it this way, if they had a supply of applications to adopt. But if this increases the number of children placed, we need to swallow our discomfort and go for it.
If anyone is interested in this topic, and watching someting else about it....there was another great documentary which aired on Channel 4 in 2005 or 2006, which was a lot about the use of adoption parties/tv appearances in the US to find adoptive parents. It followed two 14 year old girls who both really wanted to find an adoptive family and appeared on TV and attended parties to try and find new parents. It was also desperately sad at times but well done. It's called "Adopt Me, I'm a Teenager". You can watch it here
Student sw watching this with tears and a lump forming!
Thanks for link lilka
I only have 2nd hand experience, friends who are long term FC, I think people who don't know the reality of neglected dc just can't understand what adopters take on.
My heart breaks that there isn't more intervention when these dc are still young babies and that the court system is just so long winded
I'm an adoptive mum and this is my first post on MN!
I watched it from a very different place to a couple of years ago...
Having always been the last one to be chosen at school for team games there is a large part of me that shrinks in cold horror at the thought of children being chosen or rejected, but it was clear that they weren't told what the activity days were for and that certainly the younger ones wouldn't have been aware. As they get older and go to more of them some children might realise.
What really interests me is the opposition to the SWs attempting to 'sell' the children. Surely that's their job - to find the right and best families for those children, in whatever way they can. And there must be something in the profiles that is being considered as things prospective adopters can't deal with - there's a reason why they're 'hard to place' beyond being boys and two of them. Because looking as attractive as that and being warm and friendly and affectionate as that, we all know there's something in the paperwork or background that is putting adopters off. So the SWs have to point out all the good and lovely things about them that counteract whatever it is in the various reports and papers.
I don't personally have a problem with the SWs doing this, they have a duty to the children in their care to find them the best family and sometimes the best family isn't the one who is at first most interested. The SWs know the risks of disruption but as long as they aren't forcing the issue I can't see that just sitting back and hoping for the best is the best or right thing for any children that need a family.
I'm not an adoptive mum, sorry I went into care aged 7, and went up to 15 in foster care before going to a residential home and phasing out, and had a failed adoption. I think that if disguised well as a fun day, a day to meet other kids in care and have fun etc; then for the children who aren't adopted, they had a nice day, and for children who were adopted, then brilliant. I think there should be an age limit, after about 6 or so, they would know.
Lilka That program me… Adopt Me - I'm a Teenager was interesting and sad. I hope Justine was OK in the end...
NinjaPenguin thanks for your perspective. It is always so helpful to hear from people who encountered the care system themselves.
I have resisted the urge to say too much as I was quite shell shocked after all the media stuff about adoption this week!
now with a calmer reflective hat on I think it is good to remember when watching a documentary that it is a snap shop of life and there would have been lots of day to day life in between the key bits we saw. The documentary kind of gives an impression of it all being very intense etc but I think on reflection it would not necessarily mean it was. The older boy was 6 at the time of one activity day (and either 7 for a later activity day or possibly 7 by the time the media of the documentary was reporting it). When he talked of finding a new family I did link it in my head with the activity day - of course I would, I know what those days are primarily for and of course I am watching a programme called 'Finding mum and dad'!!! But really for those kids finding a new family would be an on going thing and may not have been linked as clearly with the activity day.
I actually felt very sorry for the couple featured, who it seemed were so brave (and perhaps, I felt, a little unwise) to expose themselves to so much public scrutiny. On the day they may well have been thinking a thousand things and we (the viewing audience) were actually thinking one thing (if the rest of mumsnet and parts of faceboo are to be believed), that one thing was, of course, please someone adopt those two boys!
So in a way I feel the couple were in their own bubble looking for a child/ren they felt able to cope with/bring up/parent etc and the viewers were almost watching a totally different show, the 'find those two boys a family' show!
Personally, the good side of all this for me is that it has challenged me to be genuinely more open about the child we will consider. I think this is a direct result of watching the programme and may well end up helping me to make a better choice for the child and for our family.
Italian I think you have raised some very very valid points. Also as human beings there is surely an element of "chemistry" which you may detect at an activity day that you would just never get from reading a profile - again getting you to consider completely different options, surely that can only be a good thing.
Most of all I just wish there was much more post adoption support.
italian, I think you're right. Now you say it, it was very much two different shows, one featuring the boys and another featuring the adults looking for their children.
All I can say is thank goodness we got matched through profiles on paper. DH and I would have been useless at an event like that (uncomfortable doesn't quite cover it!) and our beautiful DC would more than likely be demonstrating their, erm, less lovely attributes.
I'm an adopter, we have a teenage birth daughter and two sons aged 4 and 1. Ours boys are not birth siblings, we have therefore been through the assessment process twice albeit with different authorities. Our 4 year old has been with us since he was 2, he's almost 5 so soon he will have been with us for 3 years and our 1 year old since he was 10 months.
I think the programme was tough but it was also never going to cover all the issues in such a short space of time. If the purpose of the programme was to raise the issue of the numbers of children in care and who may remain there then it did that. If it was to maybe create some interest in people who've thought about adopting or not then I suspect it did that as well. It didn't really though explore the wide and complex issues about what makes children 'hard to place', possibly because they may deter people where the programme sparked an interest but also maybe because the issues differ from child to child but ultimately will require an immense amount of love, time, understanding and resourcefulness from adopted parents to support the children to understand them and either learn to live with the issues or work through them.
I haven't been to an adoption party but I have been to an adoption event where every authority in my region had a stall and the walls were literally covered in photos and profiles of 100’s of children looking for forever families. At each stall we were asked simple questions that identified whether we would be classed as likely adopters for that authority, mainly were we living outside of their area and what our home was like etc. We were then asked what we were looking for in relation to children, that's tough and to be honest you need to have some idea of gender, age, sibling group and the kinds of issues you could support a child with and through. We didn't find our first son through this but we did learn an awful lot about the kinds of issues we thought we could support.
Anyway my point is simply that anything that might create an interest and start people thinking about adopting is great and if this programme results in forever families for Scott and Connor and Daniel that would be awesome! I don't have a problem with the adoption parties, being in care is tough and if the parties help kids find forever families in a way their paper profiles don't then that's a result and 20% of the kids in those parties got that result.
Finally my hat goes off to the adopters who went to these parties, getting through the assessment process isn't easy and it's an emotional and draining process full of highs and at times lows. So going to a party to meet a room full of children, remain balanced and grounded and potentially make a decision that will be life changing for you and some of the kids is a pretty amazing thing to do!
I'm not an adopter. But I have friends and family who have adopted. I don't think people should blame adopters for being 'picky'. For goodness sake, you are seeking to add a new member to your family. It's not just about picking a sofa from DFS (where, I guess, you are going to be picky, too) - as with ANY relationship, you need to know what you can handle, and who you can live with… for the rest of your life.
Choosing younger children does not have much to do with cuteness (I hope). Deep inside, everyone knows that the older children are, the more history they carry that might have been bleak. It is up to the adopter to decide whether they can live with that. An adoption that is disrupted is a whole damn lot worse than rejecting a child. I don't think adoption parties are bad. Meeting people is the only way you can test for chemistry which with older children, I think, is a very important thing to do.
In a utopian world, adoption would be the way it sometimes happens in America: Birth Mother gives her consent during pregnancy, gets great care (we're talking about free accommodation, healthcare, etc.), adoptive parents are present during the birth, and baby comes home with them (as happened with David Miliband and his wife). But of course, the adoptive parents in the US pay upwards of US$30,000 for that privilege, which some people will think is buying them a child.
For anyone who may be interested, on an adoption Facebook site, they updated and it looks like Connor and Daniel may be adopted very soon.
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