Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

Stop trashing adoption

with 9 comments

Yet again I’m being accused of being all manner of awfulnesses for daring to be a voice against the sanctified glorification of adoption that is common in discourse around the subject. I’m not linking anything ’cause I don’t want to be reading such stuff tonight to find it, as I’m currently on hiatus from adoption for as much as I can manage because I have been sent over the metaphorical edge by some of the stuff I’ve encountered of late. In order to retain my sanity, I’ve been minimising my time around the subject, but I am the only admin. in some of the FB groups I run and so at least occasionally I have to go in to at least check for spam and such like.

I’m sick though, of being asked things like “when are you going to stop trashing adoption?”

This post then, is the answer to “when will 7rin stop trashing adoption?”

I’ll stop trashing adoption when just two very very simple things happen.

1. I’ll stop trashing adoption when has been passed into law, thus giving the ADOPTEE the right to make THEIR OWN choice.

2. I’ll stop trashing adoption when is available to ALL ADOPTEES from professionals fully conversant with the devastating impact that the process of adoption can have upon the psyche of the adoptee.

That’s it.

Nothing more.

That’s all that’s needed to be done to get me to stop trashing adoption.

And now I’m going to go to bed, and may be AFK for a while as I am still trying to get my head back together and stop myself collapsing massively, since I can’t get any post-adoption support, and can’t currently keep fighting to get it ’cause I’m utterly exhausted from so many years of it. There are so many of you out there who I miss ’cause of my self-imposed exile, but I really need to be strict with myself ’cause I’m >.< that close to a meltdown, which I don’t have time for.

Written by 7rin

Wed, 26 June, 2013 at 11:41 pm

9 Responses

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  1. I’m very sorry to hear this and that you have reached this point.It seems to come to us all at some time when we need to take a break to recover our strength, fight and selves. The attack on adoptees and the truth is constant, relentless and without mercy it seems.Thank goodness more and more of us become vocal all the time to speak up and tell it how it is for the benefit of those who will never know but think they do better than we do.


    Thu, 27 June, 2013 at 2:10 am

  2. I am an adoptee. I’m 51 years old, and to this day I still don’t know why my parents bothered to adopt me. They already had 2 boys of their own, and they all let me know I wasn’t really part of THEIR family. They said different, but actions speak louder than words. I found my biological mother who was an alcoholic and basically pretty nuts. By the time I found my biological dad, he was sick with cancer. He seemed like such a great person, and never knew about me When I found him,. I also found 5 sisters and 2 brothers. I wish I would have been able to find him sooner and gotten to have the Dad I always wanted for a while any way.
    I also lost one brother before being able to meet him. This is actually a very cruel thing to do to people. Give them up and never let them have any information about their biological family. It makes you feel totally lost in this world, totally unwanted, unloved, and not worth anything. I know I have felt that way my whole life.

    Claire Vosburgh

    Thu, 27 June, 2013 at 4:53 am

    • So sorlry about your mom/ I am guessing losing you had a lot to do with her drinking problem. After I read your comment I wondered why the social worker approved your parents since they sound so negative and mean. My real mom was the same way-I always thought I would have been better off adopted-ha ha-

      Stephanie Malaspian

      Sat, 3 August, 2013 at 6:13 pm

  3. keep fighting! there are lots of us out there who know and a time will come when modern society understands the nature of human bonding and the effects of the modern invention of stranger adoption on humanity. Adoption is the brutalisation of infants – enforced detachment from their own people – creating a demographic of damaged isolated people without connection to their own. Its a theft of recent invention and it wont last forever – think of the demise of the slave trade. Some people thought it couldnt be done. It was. And one day the Adoption trade will go the same way.

    Catherine Lynch

    Thu, 27 June, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    • Adoption is as old as ‘civilization’, modern adoption will turn into some other permutation as the lucrative adoption industry gets more inventive.The slave trade did the same, it is alive and thriving in the world. much of society already understands the nature of human bonding, some instinctively but many choos to ignore it when it comes to adoptees because it is profitable or advantageous to do so.The creation of ‘a demographic of damaged islolated people without connection to their own’ is a thought worth expanding!


      Fri, 28 June, 2013 at 12:37 am

  4. I am aware that, not having been adopted myself, I do not have your perspective, but I find it very hard to read some of the comments here as a foster carer and adoptive parent. I care for children who have suffered appalling abuse at the hands of ‘their own’ – this is the ‘brutalisation of infants’ in my opinion. In some cases, to send these children back to ‘their own’ would be to send them back to the very real possibility of serious injury or even death. I have had children come into my care directly from the hospital where ‘their own’ put them. If these children are not to be adopted, then what should happen to them? A limbo life of foster care? Research carried out in the UK demonstrates that adult outcomes for children who were taken into care are better at every level for children who were adopted compared to those who were long-term fostered.
    My own adopted son was actually rehabilitated to his birth mother after being in my care for 8 months. It lasted 3 weeks before she ran off and left him with strangers. Then he came back to me and, after it was ascertained that nobody else in his birth family actually wanted him (his birth father wouldn’t acknowledge that he was his dad until a DNA test proved it), I asked to adopt him. Am I part of an ‘adoption industry’ that is akin to the slave trade? I hope not. Adoptions today are open adoptions – my child will know about his birth family and will know that he is adopted. We have annual contact with birth family by letter. Things have changed in the last 40 years. I’m not saying that adoption is not hard on children and traumatic in itself – of course it is – but if the alternative is neglect and abuse then an ‘on balance’ decision needs to be made. Sometimes that decision will turn out to have been the wrong one, but then hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it.
    Having said that, if adult adoptees are not able to get appropriate support to deal with the ramifications of decisions that were made on their behalf in the past then that is reprehensible and I agree that something should be done.
    I hope my comment doesn’t offend – I have no intent to do so :)

    Suddenly Mummy

    Thu, 29 August, 2013 at 1:11 am

    • 1. Not all adoptions today are “open adoptions”. And sorry, but “annual contact by letter” does not an open adoption make.

      2. That the care system as a whole needs massive overhaul does not change the fact that THE ADOPTEE (y’know, the one that this is s’posed to be”in the best interests of”) gets NO say in the matter, at all. Hence the petition being created.

      3. I’d be interested to know what questions that research you mentions asks of whom, since the vast majority of ‘research’ I’ve come across does not look at the important issues, but more asks the ADOPTERS (who have a vested interest in making themselves appear good) what they think.

      4. Was it that nobody wanted him (which is – sadly – always a possibility) or more that the SS wouldn’t let any of the family take him because the SS has a vested interest in the continued trafficking of children in order to keep their own jobs secure (a theme I explore more in my post Can UK Social Workers truly have The Best Interests of the Child at the heart of their work). I ask because I have a family member in FC who lost his baby siblings to adoption because “no-one wanted them”, when in truth, they were “wanted” but the SS doesn’t want the kids staying within the family.

      5. You said “I’m not saying that adoption is not hard on children and traumatic in itself – of course it is”. Unfortunately, the UK Government’s Adoption Advisor, Sir Martin Narey, doesn’t believe that. Instead he believes that all kids need are love, as espoused on Twitter, and discussed on this blog. THIS is why I am having to fight. Not because I think no child will ever need to escape the traumas that its own family can inflict because I am well aware that there are people who should never have had children in the first place, but because the UK Government (with the aid of the ADOPTERS) are pushing adoption to be done faster, upon more children, without fully realising the implications of the traumas that they are inflicting upon those removed.

      Finally, no, your comment hasn’t offended at all. In fact, I welcome questions and discussion on this issue as it’s only by ALL SIDES discussing this that we are likely to be able to make TRUE improvements to a system that is sadly always likely to be needed. :}


      Thu, 29 August, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      • Thanks for your response :) I know quite a few adoptees both in real life and online now and between them they exhibit a massive range of responses to the fact of their adoption from practically being reunified with birth family, all the way to those who have no interest in their birth families and have never tried to trace them. I don’t yet know where my son will land with his own views on his past when he is older so it’s important to me to explore the possibilities to I can try to understand and support him, however he decides.

        To respond. . . .
        1) Yes – I shouldn’t have used the phrase ‘open adoption’ which means something specific. I really meant to say ‘not secret’, i.e. the fact of adoption is known, details about birth family are known – there isn’t that crushing thing of reaching a certain age and suddenly being told you are not who you thought you were and your family is not who you thought they were. This change is undoubtedly a good thing, although I feel pretty strongly that contact carried on between adoptive parents and birth family without the child’s knowledge or consent (as I have to do with letterbox – my son is 2) is also a negation of the idea of putting the child’s views and interests at the centre. When he can state his opinion he might be vehemently against it – I can stop then, but can’t take back what was already written. Still, I do it because ‘they’ say it’s a good thing (and I signed a contract!)

        2) Tiny adoptees get no say. True. Older potential adoptees can sometimes have a say. My friend has recently taken on her 8-year-old foster child on under special guardianship and the child did get to contribute to this discussion – the special guardianship was her preferred option. I have no idea how widespread this is though, or how old the child would have to be before their opinions were sought. Indeed, I had absolutely no say in the custody arrangements that were made when my parents divorced – ignoring children isn’t just a problem of our social care system, but endemic across society, which is regrettable. On the other hand, abused people don’t always make choices that would protect themselves – I think of people suffering domestic abuse at the hands of a partner – which is why I feel that the child’s wishes should form an important part of the discussion but should not necessarily be the be all and end all.

        3) I’ve been looking again for the research paper and I can’t find it which is a shame as I really don’t like to refer to ‘some research’ in such a woolly way – if I find it I’ll link to it. It was basically a study focused on statistical data regarding educational achievement, criminal activity, employment activity, etc. etc. It did not look at all at how adoptees felt about their circumstances, but rather focused on quantitative data comparing the measurable outcomes of adults who had been taken into care at some point during childhood. It did not cover emotional outcomes insofar as these were not specifically canvassed as there were no interviews carried out as part of the study.

        4) I realise that this may be quite unusual but I spent a fair amount of time with all of my son’s family (Mum, paternal and maternal grandma but not Dad as he was unwilling to participate) and they did tell me they didn’t want to ‘take him on’ – except his Mum, who I liked a lot and had sympathy for and who did want him but repeatedly couldn’t or wouldn’t make the changes necessary to ensure his safety wasn’t at risk. I can’t deny the possibility that there are times when SS do not properly consider the applications of family members, although I do know several kinship carers who are long-term caring for famly members. Maybe I’m naive, or maybe my LA is particularly thorough, but I have sometimes felt that the search for suitable family members was exhaustive, with children held in care for months and months while all the checks and interviews and court appearances were carried out. My good friends, who were living in Thailand at the time, were approached by SS and asked to take on the husband’s adoptive half-brother’s 3 children – he barely knew his brother and had never met the children! Seems unlikely to be a situation that would work out, what with them living in Thailand and all, but still SS asked them. They may well be paying lip service, but they’re doing a good job of it! Anecdotal, I know – it would be interesting to see statistics on the proportion of children of different ages that do end up in kinship care.

        5) Yeah, well, I’ve covered my views on Martin Narey and the ‘all you need is love’ approach in my own blog, and neither floats my boat to be honest! I thoroughly disagree with the move to speed up adoptions, or to ‘foster-to-adopt’ (as do all the social workers I have spoken to) – not in the best interests of anybody, including adopters. But I’m not sure about your phrase “with the aid of adopters” – it’d sit more comfortably with me if it said “potential adopters”. Most of the people I hear pontificating about how hard it is to adopt and how it should be made quicker and easier are those who have not been approved, many of whom have been put off by the mean things social workers have said at initial interview. My experience of adoption prep is that the whole purpose is to thoroughly disabuse you of any idea that adoption is about you, the adopter. Even if you went into the process with some rose-tinted idea of creating your own perfect family (and I know many do), you’d be hard-pressed to hold onto that view for long after meeting adopters and adoptees and being given a bit of a reality check. I don’t think the views and experiences of adopters are any more homogenous than the views and experiences of adoptees. Those who have come out of the other side of the process are perhaps a lot more clued in than media comment would lead us to think.

        I’m intrigued by your petition, which seems to be stated in a logically persuasive way. I’d be interested to read more about the motives behind it, and what you think would be the benefits to adoptees of such a move, practically, legally and emotionally – do you have a blog post that covers it succinctly? Or a few? I don’t mind reading!

        Suddenly Mummy

        Thu, 29 August, 2013 at 5:24 pm

        • Oh, ok, I read your response to Martin Narey which seems to cover most of the points I was asking about in my previous comment.

          Suddenly Mummy

          Thu, 29 August, 2013 at 8:30 pm

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