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Radio 4 programme on social networking and adoption

12 replies

Italiangreyhound · 14/12/2010 23:25

All in the Mind on BBC Radio 4 tonight had a programme - 'Claudia Hammond looks at social networking and adoption.' I listened to some of it and it was quite interesting. Possibly not new things to experienced adopters but perhaps of interest to some. I'm not an adopter myself so I don't know exactly how it relates to everyone but it was thought provoking.

There is a listen again feature so you can hear it again. here

OP posts:
maryz · 15/12/2010 00:02

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CarmenSales · 15/12/2010 17:06

Interesting i will check it

beemail · 16/12/2010 00:45

Listened to the one today by Claudia Hammond- really interesting especially the bit about babies in FC who are transported back to BPs for 5 visits a week, collected and returned by SWs (not nec the same one every time) Those poor babies - so disruptive for them so early in their lives.
Interesting stuff about the big changes in contact with advent of social networking sites. Worth listening - sure it'll be on iplayer

hester · 16/12/2010 22:43

Hi beemail, I remember how shocked I was when I first realised what tiny babies go through in order to sustain contact with birth parents, and the impact this can have on them. (It was actually a post by thefirstmrsdevere...) There is no doubt that the length of time it takes to resolve adoption for newborns is really damaging for them. Not many people realise how long it takes. My dd was taken into care at birth, went through a very straightforward process, we actually got congratulated at panel for how quick the process has been. Well, she won't be legally ours until she is over 18 months old. It shouldn't need to be that way.

beemail · 17/12/2010 19:59

No it's something which needs to be addressed - they were saying how much it interferes with the baby being "settled" poor thing leaves hospital and immediate has sleep and feedtimes disturbed by these visits
and several people feeding, changing, coomforting in the course of the day
It just doesn't make sense, despite the birth parents needs there has to be a better way

maypole1 · 19/12/2010 16:41

until a childs need out way a parents wants i am afiard this will never chnage.

OnthefirsdayofMrsDeVere · 21/12/2010 23:03

beemail and hester this is exactly what happened to my DS. As I was fostering him at the time I saw what it did to him and how totally NONchild centered it all was.

It was horrendous and his development was severely delayed by the process.

His contacts were arranged to suit BM's wants (not needs). So they were set at 11.30 to give her time to get up and to contact centre (5 mins away). So DS would have to be ready to leave my house for 10.30 he would then be bought back around 4.30. This was from 8 weeks. He might be with up to 6 different people in one day, he would fall asleep with one and wake up with another.

I took him for the first 4 weeks but then had to go back to work. He was picked up by various workers. Sometimes they had a car but not ONCE did he have a car seat!

I got a childminder near my work because I worked near the contact centre and I wanted him to have a shorter journey with workers. This meant a 7 mile round walk for me a day but was better than him being passed around like a bloody parcel 4 times a week.

If bmum was late they would keep him there until she turned up.

Some contact workers were great. Some were criminally negligent. I found out one was taking DS to pick up her kids from school before bringing him home. She also kept him on a couple of occassions when bmum didnt turn up for contact Shock. She also had her OH in the car with her several times.

I asked that the contacts could start at 9 - 30 so that DS would only be out for the mornings and could have all afternoon and evning/night at home.

Bmum refused because 'why should I miss my programmes at night so I have to get up early?'
SS also refused to allow contacts to take place nearer home to cut down on DS's travelling. Bmum didnt want to travel (15min tube journey).

DS had many medical appointments. I was expected to take him to these (fine). I would arrive after struggling on public transport with a newborn and huge pram (b.mums choice) to be met (late) by social worker and bmum who arrived by cab.

DS didnt roll over till he was 9mths old. He had suspected cerebral palsy because of his abnormal muscle tone. Once contacts were reduced his physical developement improved and he is now within normal ranges.

B.mum has many issues and limitations. But I think the system abused my son far more than she did. He was only with her for 8 weeks, the system had him for two years before we had PR.

To illustrate how little his needs were taken into account - his contact schedule was so frantic, there was NO time to take him to baby clinic. As he was removed due to neglect and was severely underweight I was concerned about this. How would SS know if his weight was due to neglect or a medical condition if he was never weighed?

I had to arrange for a HV to come to my house at 7.30am to weigh him.

Sorry for the essay. It is still something that causes me upset when i start thinking about it!

Italiangreyhound · 22/12/2010 15:34

OnthefirsdayofMrsDeVere this is appaling. I am so sorry to hear it. Did you complain or register the facts afterwards. I am not saying I would I would be surprised if you had (because it is awful) and I would not be surprised if you had not because I expect once you get your little one finally home you probably do want to concentrate on them and not about the 'system'. Anyway, just curious, if you did complain - what was said?

I feel really sad that the system does put adult needs/wants above the needs of the child even though they may well argue that is not the case!

Happy Christmas to all you adoptive Mums and Dads on this thread.

OP posts:
OnthefirsdayofMrsDeVere · 22/12/2010 16:16

No I didnt complain Italian. Not directly, but I have taken part in a few campaigns, reports etc.

I should have but I didnt because'
I was still worried that somehow they would take him away if I made waves.
I had never had any experience of anything like this before. I had no idea what to expect.
It was so stressful just getting through day by day we just kept our heads down TBH.
Then as things did calm down my DD was dx with cancer and we just had to deal with that really.

I think most people are the same, they are so relieved to get it all over with they breath a sigh of relief and then move on as fast as they can.

Except the guilt does linger.

I have vowed that I would NEVER allow that to happen again if we were ever in a similar position. We are dealing with something at the moment (different but related) and I am not allowing any nonsense off SS.

But back then was dealing with a huge, ponderous machine and i was a teeeny little cog trying not to get squished.

Happy Christmas to you too Xmas Smile

Italiangreyhound · 22/12/2010 16:47

OnthefirsdayofMrsDeVere I kind of guessed you would say that, I thought that having got your little one you would not want to make life difficult and would have a lot on your plate. I kind of feel (also, possibly) that instead of complaints and confrontation (which can put backs up and make people take entrenched positions) maybe consultation is the way. If experienced adopters and child psychologists and the like can offer their help and advice to SS about the needs of the child, maybe things will change, but how that happens or even starts I don?t know. I hope it has started but I am just not sure. We have wait and thought and are still looking into fertility treatment before diving into adoption. Still full of uncertainty but I think that pre-warned is forearmed or whatever so all this knowledge will help me I hope!

God Bless and all the best for you. I am sure this is a tough time for you with memories f your beloved DD but also (I really hope) a lovely time with your sons.

All the best, Italian [fbear]

OP posts:
SJ246 · 05/01/2012 09:36


Has anyone had any problems with birth parents getting in contact through social networking?

hester · 05/01/2012 12:44

Hi SJ246, MrsDV has posted about that in the past. And there's lots of conversation about it on adoptionukorg - it's a big and growing problem.

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