Aidan Burley, MP letters
Back in 2010, I wrote the Let the battle commence post, detailing my quest for adoptee specific psychological support. Well it took over a year, but in December 2011, I finally got myself along to visit Aidan Burley, MP‘s The Help Zone, in order to try to get my local MP on the case.
The following is the reply that I hand delivered to The Help Zone this morning for them to pass on to Aidan, and is answering a letter he sent me.
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Dear Mr Burley
Thank you for your letter, dated 10 February 2012, in response to my enquiries at The Help Zone, Cannock.
I also offer my thanks to you for writing to the Chief Executive at Staffordshire County Council, to ask him what support Staffordshire County Council may be able to provide. However, I was somewhat perturbed to find that you consider a complete lack of appropriate support for adults who were adopted as children to be able to be passed off simply as me feeling there is “not enough”. Yes, I admit that I do consider the complete lack of appropriate support to be “not enough”.
AB: Current provision focuses on supporting families and children, because if any issues can be addressed early on, this will undoubtedly be beneficial for those children as they become adults.
In which case, perhaps you should be listening to the voices of those who have actually experienced what it is you are doing to these children – if you are as keen to prevent trauma in them as you suggest. Or is it just that you want to avoid the childhood traumas, whilst turning your backs on the traumas experienced by adults as a direct result of what you are doing to the children, since you are only interested in what the children show at that time?
Please understand that my irate tone stems from the fact that you reference children only. While yes, we were once adopted children, we are now adopted adults. And many of us were adopted when the current provisions for children were not in place. Adult adoptees need the support now that was unavailable when we were children. This seems to the point you are missing; the importance of providing counselling to those of us who did not benefit from the “current provisions to support families & children”. We come from the dark ages when we were not encouraged by anyone to talk about our feelings on adoption which is, I believe at least part of the reason that adoption is promoted to such a great extent. If we had been given a voice back then instead of having to get to a certain age before gaining perspective, confidence to speak out about how we feel, maybe people would have started listening a long time ago. Maybe.
AB: I appreciate your wider concerns regarding the approach of this Government to adoption. Given your own experiences, it is only natural that you would be cautious.
I would be intrigued to find out what you believe my experiences to be, given that you think they would make me naturally cautious of this Government’s approach to adoption, if you would be willing to share such fantasising with me? Unfortunately, the truth is far more mundane, as I have experienced nothing more than an average adoption story.
Or is it that you realise that someone who has been legally severed from their own history may actually see through the bullshit of Martin Narey suggesting that abandonment to adoption actually be encouraged amongst pregnant women? Maybe you recognise that as an adoptee, I would not agree to an adoptee so acquiescent to adoptive parents that he puts their needs above those of the adoptee (Martin Gove) purporting to speak for me?
AB: However I would like to reassure you that the Government places the utmost importance on the wellbeing of children…
Only to discard them as adults, it seems.
AB: … it is for this reason that a common-sense approach must be taken towards the adoption and foster care system.
I vehemently disagree that the disorganised, non-systematic “common sense” approach (often subscribing to inarticulate and ineffable knowledge) must be taken towards the adoption and foster care systems (they should be separate systems, not interchangeable). Rather, I propose a more scientific approach should be taken that examines all of the detail available – detail that by necessity includes the narrative of adults who were themselves adopted whilst children. It is only by following the more rigorous models of scientific thinking that the wellbeing of the children who are currently experiencing the system, as well as the wellbeing of the adults they will become, can be maximised. This would further reduce dependency by adults, as contemporary adoptees would then be far less liable to echo the path taken by those like myself who are still suffering.
AB: The Government is increasing transparency of information available to local authorities, to help identify which areas are struggling with children in care, allowing us to challenge their performance, while helping them to learn from councils that are performing better. Under these new rules, tough action is to be taken on local authorities that are failing in their basic responsibilities to deal with adoption cases swiftly and efficiently.
Please explain to me why the Government believes that speeding up the severance of a child from its own history should be commended, whilst preventing such a devastating loss is seen as something to be punished?
Further, I would appreciate an explanation of why under these new rules, adoptees still are unable to have their own adoption over-turned or annulled or abolished or rescinded or obliterated or quashed or destroyed in the same way that their adoption destroyed their original history. See, the problem is that no matter what else happens to us throughout our lives, we remain adopted. Despite the fact that it is now possible to have a new birth certificate issued in a different gender, and despite the fact that it is possible to marry and then divorce, the fact remains that once an adoptee, always an adoptee – which means that we can no longer use our own original birth certificates.
AB: Government policies will increase the amount of money prescribed to each child in the system fourfold over the next three years, ensuring there is much more support available in the future.
Is this support also available to parents who are supporting and caring for their own biological children? If not, is this not simply the Government promoting a false economy of welfare by paying other people more to raise children that could be sustained within their own households, were they to be given the same support?
AB: I support measures to address the current over-complicated system, which puts many families off from adopting, and deprives children of the chance to be part of a loving and stable family.
Unfortunately, you are conflating issues. It is not essential – nor even important – to legally severe a child from its heritage in order for that child to be raised in love, and with care and concern. That adoption is deemed the only choice to be encouraged – even above non-destructive methods such as “legal guardianship” or “parental responsibility” (perhaps the laws governing PR could be widened to provide such permanence, for example) indicates grossly this Government’s intent on destroying families.
Adoption is a cruel and unnecessary legalised lie that enforces gross socialisations on the developing adoptee. Legally annihilating our history is nothing more than punishment of the child for the sins of the parent.
AB: Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything further I can do to support you, and I will let you know of any response I receive from the County Council as soon as possible.
Again, thank you for the latter. For the former, I would appreciate it were you to be willing to enter into a dialogue in order that I may help you better understand the dilemmas faced by adoptees – after all, what is the point in ‘saving us’, if the cure is more deadly than the disease.