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Posters trying to track down adopted child

(12 Posts)
Sandsnake Tue 28-Mar-17 16:11:33

A what would you do / have done - not a massive thing but praying on my mind a bit...

I was at a mainline station nearish me today. Outside the station were three prominently placed 'missing child' posters. I stopped to look and saw that the posters were appealing for information on a child who they claimed had been forcibly adopted around three years ago. It didn't say much else but that the child was a Romany Gypsy who should be back with his own family. There were two pictures of the child on the poster and they provided a mobile number for 'sightings' to be reported to. The poster also provided the child's birth name as well as date and place of birth.

It struck me that this was potentially a risk to the child / their new family. I'm guessing the child was taken by Social Services for a reason and is now living with his adopted family under a new identity. It could therefore be damaging and potentially dangerous should his old family be able to track him down as they are trying to.

I had no idea what to do about it but by chance spotted a group of police officers nearby so told them about it and then left. I'm not sure they knew what to do about it and when I went back the posters were still there. I've been thinking about it a bit since and am interested in thoughts about whether a) I overreacted and was a bit weird in telling the police officers in the first place and b) whether I should follow it up at all?

I am thinking that a) I was probably right to say something and that b) I'm going to leave it now as it's really nothing to do with me. Interested in thoughts!

wonderingsoul Tue 28-Mar-17 16:14:24

I think you did the right thing what to do about it im not sure, maybe call nspca or social services? They may have more pulling weight with the pilice and will be able to identify the child and their birth family

scurryfunge Tue 28-Mar-17 16:14:53

You could speak to someone at Social Care. They will be in a better position to judge whether further safeguarding needs to happen.

Sandsnake Tue 28-Mar-17 16:31:00

Thanks guys. I just contacted the local child protection team who were really appreciative and hoped to have enough info to identify the child and establish if there was any risk. Appreciate the advice smile

donquixotedelamancha Tue 28-Mar-17 18:36:17

You absolutely did not overreact, you handled it exactly right. Well done for bothering to chase it up.

I'm pretty aghast that the police left the posters up. If I were you I would take the posters down. I would also send one to SS along with a letter saying where found. It's good that they said they'd deal with it, but a written follow up with the evidence will help push it a bit.

Imagine being that poor child's parents and seeing something like that, let alone what would happen if whoever put them up actually found him.

Rufus27 Tue 28-Mar-17 18:47:15

You did absolutely the right thing.

There have been a number of instances like this recently, especially with the rise in social media accessibility and people sharing what they think is a genuine missing child campaign. That's why our social worker drilled it in to us not to share pictures of DS online and to insist school did not publish his picture anywhere when he's old enough.

I know one adoptive family who've had to relocate after their details were revealed to the birth family (by the NHS of all people!).

lalalalyra Tue 28-Mar-17 18:50:58

I think you did the right thing. There was a local thing here on FB recently where a couple went on a hunt for a baby they had adopted as young teenagers. The child would be 18 now and anyone advising any caution against a public search, or suggesting a proper channels was shouted down as nasty or cruel.

Apparently it should be legal for people who have their children willingly adopted to just knock on their door whenever they want.

SteppingOnToes Tue 28-Mar-17 18:53:48

I always dissuade people from sharing missing children posts on FB - unless it comes from the police it could be an abuser trying to track the person/child down.

flapjackfairy Tue 28-Mar-17 18:58:10

The thing is as a foster carer and adopted parent i know the huge amount of evidence required by the courts to enable a child to be released for adoption and so the thought of these parents tracking this child down is truly scary.
I also know that it is a rare birth parent who can admit to failings that lead to their child being removed.
If i had a pound for every time i have heard the story that children have been removed with no grounds whatsoever and had been forcibly adopted by the evil system i would be rich .
It is a worrying development .

flapjackfairy Tue 28-Mar-17 19:00:50

Adoptive parent !

DangerousBeanz Tue 28-Mar-17 19:06:54

I'm an adult adoptee, you did exactly the right thing OP. The needs of the child come first and if SS haven't agreed an open adoption or put a means of contact in place there will be a damn good reason. No one should be trying to find the child until they are 18, and even then it is very much up to the child whether or not they want to have contact. Campaigns like this put vulnerable children at risk and are extremely irresponsible.

ifeellikechickentonight Tue 28-Mar-17 19:55:06

I'm a social worker and you definitely did the right thing. Agree with the PP who suggested to take one down and post it to your town's/county's social services.

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