Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

Posts Tagged ‘Aidan Burley

Tell me something I don’t know

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{quoting 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.

{/quote}

When I went in, I told them I was going to them for help because I had already exhausted every other avenue available. I told them that no-one else can help me because Staffordshire are already fulfilling their statutory obligation, and so I needed help in extending the help available.

I have – finally – had a letter back from Mr Burley’s office (dated 30 Jul), passing on a letter sent to them nineteen days ago by Staffordshire County Council’s Nick Bell (Chief Executive). Nick’s letter says:

{quote}

Thank you for your letter regarding your constituent Ms Lloyd. I am advised that the Organisation Ms Lloyd refers to [WMPAS – see: LtBC] has in fact closed down and services merged with After Adoption, a voluntary Organisation.

Staffordshire County Council’s Adoption Services does not contract with this organisation but is fully compliant with the statutory requirements as laid out in legislation including the provision of a post adoption support service and at its last inspection was rated as Good by Ofsted.

A range of services are available in Staffordshire that Ms Lloyd may access regarding her adoption by contacting the Post Adoption Support Team on 01889 256400. I understand that Ms Lloyd has previously been supplied with these details.

{/quote}

Now this is nothing surprising, nothing new, nothing we didn’t already know. The services that SCC have been able to offer me – an adult adoptee – are extremely limited. I’ve used all of the help that SCC can give me, and was told by their own SWer that I know more about all I was experiencing than they did, and thus there was no more help they could offer me.

I mentioned this, along with describing how not even the Practice Manager at my local doctors’ surgery had been able to help. Thus, I am entirely bemused at the accompanying letter from Aidan’s gnome, Mark Holland, which reads:

{quote}

Firstly, please let me apologise for the length of time it has taken for us to obtain for you a response from the County Council, in respect of its adoption services. I am sorry for the long delay, since Aidan’s letter to you in March.

Please find enclosed a copy of a letter Aidan received last week, dated 12 July, from the Chief Executive of the County Council. I note that the Council asserts that its adoption service, including post-adoption support, meets all statutory requirements made of it, and was rated as ‘Good’ at its last Ofsted inspection.

{/quote}

I am bemused because all that the letter from Nick does is confirm everything I told Aidan’s monkey when I first went in last year is true, yet Mark seems to have written his letter from a “case closed/nothing more we can do” perspective.

I will be writing back to Aidan’s pen to ask if this really is a case of “game over”, or whether they’ll actually try to help now they’ve (finally) proven that everything I told them the first time I walked through the door is true. Before I worry about me though, I still need to help minimise this crap for others by responding to the DfE‘s consultation review surrounding “contact arrangements for children in care and adopted children and on the placement of sibling groups for adoption“, since Narey’s proposals are inherently evil and need to be stopped. Not that I expect to get listened to, being someone who’s lived this my entire life.

Finally, I’d like to wish the American bastards a wonderful time at the ARC demo. You lot rawk!


 
ETA: I’ve just been to dig out SCC’s Adoption Support Service Flyer in order to double-check what services they’re saying are available to me (and n case they’ve updated it to actually be helpful).

{quote}

For Adopted Adults
We can provide an opportunity to talk to someone about how adoption has affected you and:
* Information and advice about relevant adoption issues
* A full counselling service for those people over 18 years who wish to access their birth records
* A limited intermediary service for those wishing to make contact with members of their birth family
* Preparation and support for any reunion
* Information about other organisations and services that can offer help

{/quote}

1. I gave the SWer I saw more information about being adopted than she could give me.
2. I’ve utilised the counselling service to access my birth records.
3. I didn’t need an intermediary as I contacted members of my own family myself.
4. I’m post-reunion, and still can’t get the help I need, which is why I went to AB in the first place.
5. I gave them more information about organisations that can help than they gave me.

Written by 7rin

Wed, 1 August, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Cavalier prick

with one comment

Had a reply off AB. Yup, he really is a prick.

{quote}
Dear 7rin

Thank you for your letter, dated 16 March. I am grateful for your comments, though I do not share your view that adoption is a social ill.

I sympathise with you that your experience of being an adoptee was an unfortunate one. However, many thousands of children are adopted, and it is my belief that the law as it stands offers protection to those children, and support to their adoptive families. Adoption is in my view, very much a sign of a caring, civilised society.

I would therefore not wish to enter into a dialogue with you on the general merits of adoption per se.

I still look forward to receiving a reply from the County Council, and I will forward that reply to you, as soon as I receive it.

Yours sincerely
AB MP
{/quote}

Whilst I can understand his reluctance to listen to someone WHO’S LIVED ADOPTION FOR FOUR DECADES, since, y’know, I might not have a clue what I’m talking about enter into a dialogue on the “general merits of adoption per se“, I do feel that my first reply back to him raised some points that were very specific, and which I will endeavour to pursue as relevant issues with Mr Burley. Suffice to say, I’m not convinced he’ll be at all receptive, given that he appears to’ve completely ignored everything I said in my first letter, but we can but try.

Given all the hoo-har going on over the state of the SS atm, and all the bullshit about adoption being a better option, you’d think someone’d actually wanna hear what those of us who’ve lived it for decades are saying. I don’t hold out much hope though.

I’ll be off over there => constructing my response to Mr Burley’s latest blow-off, should you need me. :}

Written by 7rin

Sun, 25 March, 2012 at 12:00 am

Posted in Fight the good fight

Tagged with ,

Aidan Burley, MP letters

with one comment

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.

… … … …

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.

Yours sincerely
7rin

Written by 7rin

Fri, 16 March, 2012 at 9:00 pm

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