Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

Posts Tagged ‘Controversy

Lost Daughters: Baby Veronica: What Adoption Does to Adopted Persons from a Legal Perspective

with 7 comments

Lost Daughters: Baby Veronica: What Adoption Does to Adopted Persons from a Legal Perspective.

This post from Julie details much of why my Petitioning Parliament post was written. This is the basis of many of the issues created by adoption, some of which I extrapolated upon in my reply to Sir @martinnarey (who still hasn’t responded to my My Heart’s Desire post).

Julie’s post over on Lost Daughters (and the comments that follow it) talks about the impact that the act of being adopted will have upon Veronica’s life. The act of adoption changes the status of a person in ways that are more than just legal. The societal aspect of living as an adoptee is a minefield. If we’re happy with adoption, then we’re happy with the fact that a child is growing up unrelated to their own kin – whyever this happens, it is something sad. If we’re pissed at adoption, then obviously we must have “had a bad experience”.

One of my more recent FB page creations is The Lucky Adoptee, who – contrary to popular perception – I consider myself to be. I did get the steady life that adoption promises. While we weren’t by any stretch well off, my APs were excellent at juggling money (a trait I sadly missed out on picking up ;)) and so the life I lived was comfortable. In fact, were it not for the issues that BEING ADOPTED has caused for my life, I actually would’ve had that fabled “better life” that is the lure of adoption.

#WASO40 hints at posts relating to the future, so for inclusion I’m finishing where I started; wanting to get legislation changed so that the ADOPTEE is the one who ultimately gets to decide what they want for their life. Giving adoptees the chance to annul/overturn/however you wanna phrase it THEIR OWN adoptions scares people though – any of us could become ungrateful bastards if we can all undo what’s been done to us, think of how the number of adopters’d plummet if they knew we the adoptees could have the final say over whether our adoptions’re “forever” or not.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 26 October, 2013 at 7:22 am

Is child abuse natural?

leave a comment »

The following post was originally started {quote}5 months ago (8 March, 2013 @ 13:15:06){/quote}

I’m releasing it into the wild now – unfinished – after seeing Cheryl Bell’s Twitter post that linked to The Telegraph article, Head of children’s services chiefs accused of ‘defeatism’ after he says ‘we will never prevent all child deaths’.

It will, for the immediate future, remain in this unfinished state as I am still in recovery from my latest adoption-induced breakdown. However, I don’t think he’s wrong, and have been wanting to look into this in greater detail, hence the post being started.

{{ – – Everything below this line was in the draft that I’d saved – – }}

I was hunting for a post I remember reading recently on animals in the wild being abandonded by their moms to put in the “Taking newborns” post.

Mother’s Day Mayhem: “Worst” Animal Moms?

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/attachment/2013/04/for-the-health-of-our-society-normal-child-abuse-prevention/

{quote}
This 2010 UK study is among many that show that the brain doesn’t reach maturity as once theorized until people are at least age 30. Executive functioning, such as planning and decision-making, social awareness and behavior, empathy and other personality traits, are the last bits of cognitive functions to fully develop.
{/quote}

Written by 7rin

Fri, 2 August, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Narey on Adoption

leave a comment »

Martin Narey answers some parents… but not the adoptees.


 

Embedded above, rewritten below by me (so any typos’re likely to be mine, and I apologise in advanced if I got any wrong – all corrections’ll be followable by any thread :p); originally pimped out on Twitter by Mr. Narey himself.

{quote}

This is an open letter to some people who use Twitter to challenge my views about adoption. Some of those people have written or e mailed me and have received replies (albeit often necessarily brief replies). Others have preferred to stay anonymous and that’s fine. Some who tweet and blog have been abusive. I don’t much like that but I understand it because I believe it reflects an anger and sometimes a helplessness about their individual cases. I would, I am sure, feel the same way were our positions reversed.

I have never denied the reality that sometimes children are taken into care unnecessarily. It would be silly to believe otherwise when we have a workforce that is fallible. But I believe, and all I have read and seen supports this, that we have a far greater number of cases where we leave children at home when they should be removed. My interest is in children who are neglected (I know that children are taken into care for other reasons). I believe that, as a society, we tolerate neglect for too long. We do not, as many people believe, have record numbers of children in care. At the end of the eighties the care population was half as big again as it is now. And that was at a time when there were at least three times as many adoptions.

So I believe the case for care, for intervening earlier to stop neglect and then sourcing a new permanence for a neglected child is overwhelming and of course I shall continue to argue for that.

Incidentally, I do not – as many tweeters suggest – profit in any way from adoptions. And Barnardo’s, which I ran for six years never, in all that time, made any profit or surplus from the very small number of adoptions they dealt with. Nor do I have any power to intervene in cases. So I cannon, even if I wished, help to achieve the return of anyone’s child.

My role is simply to offer a view to Ministers about adoptions. That view is based on my experience at Barnardo’s and, since my resignation, many, many days spent visiting local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and speaking to adopters and the adopted as well as children in care and charities which support families struggling to keep their children. Some people call me the Adoption Czar, evoking an image of a large salary and a retinue of staff. Those things, like the Adoption Czar title, are inventions of the press. I have no staff and last year my total earnings from the Department for Education were about £40,000.

So what advice can I offer those who feel their children have been wrongly removed? It is this. Fight your case of course. But do not seek to do so by attacking adoption in general. Whatever the circumstances of your case it is demonstrably true that thousands and thousands of adoptions are successful. The number which breakdown are much lower than commonly believed (new research from the University of Bristol is likely to confirm this) and there are thousands of adult adoptees willing to speak positively about their experience. I am very close personally to four such adoptees and have met hundreds of others.

Nevertheless, I believe (and say frequently) that adoption is only appropriate for a small minority of the children taken into care in England, largely those neglected by parents who are unlikely ever to be able to be successful parents. It is indisputably right that for those children adoption brings stability and compensates for that neglect.

So, continue to pursue that which you believe in. But don’t undermine the specifics of your argument by ignoring the reality of neglect and the need for us as a society, when parents cannot be supported to offer decent homes (often because of drink and addictions) and if good quality kinship carers cannot be found, to find an alternative stability through adoption. Those who might advise that the way to seek resolution of your own cases is by seeking to undermine adoption are – at best – misguided. Instead I offer this advice sincerely, concentrate on demonstrating that the authorities have made grave mistakes in _your_ case

Kind regards

Martin Narey

{/quote}

Written by 7rin

Tue, 9 October, 2012 at 1:36 am

Can UK Social Workers truly have “the best interests of the child” at the heart of their work

with 3 comments

On Saturday 9th June this year, I went to the Birmingham Child Stealing by the State conference. I (kind of) gave a short presentation voicing some of the issues faced by adoptees (didn’t get to use my .pptx[1] ‘n’ got cut short to let John Hemming, MP go on :p). Whilst there, I heard it suggested that Social Work is a dying profession. This argument could be said to have merit, especially after the University of Southampton ended its degree programme in the subject, with a statement announcing:

the quality of the research being produced by the university was not of a high enough level to sustain the courses. It said it had not been able to reach a position where it could ensure that “internationally excellent research can be found in this academic discipline”.

Errors in judgement after errors in judgement after errors in judgement impact both public and professional perceptions alike – leaving it little wonder why the title has earned itself the rephrasing to Social Wreckers.

Whilst contemplating my personal attitude towards the Social Work profession, a timely reminder as to the nature of “social work” was posted by The Declassified Adoptee. “Social Wreckers” reminds the reader that not all social work is about taking kids. I actually am aware of this, but when caught up in the furore against wrongs, it can get difficult to still see some of the rights. Other Social Workers go nowhere near kids, and instead deal with the elderly, ensuring they get checked on when there’s no-one else left. Yes, I admit it, not all Social Workers are bad, or evil. ;)

Yet in this climate of fear these are people facing budget cuts, or other job threats for varying reasons. How can those who are in the child snatching adoption industry possibly have “the best interests of the child” at the heart of their work when their very jobs depend so very much on hitting the targets so recently drawn up by the Government in order to eliminate targets?

I honestly don’t think it’s possible that it can be – especially since it’s been known for decades that adoption is not “for the best”. That’s why in Australia, they’ve got it down to the sorts of figures it should be running at (if it must run at all). Perhaps somewhat more astoundingly, the Australian Government has issued an apology to those separated by forced adoption – yet in this country, forced adoption is on the rise.

Why?

It doesn’t make sense to me.

Of course, somehow or another, a paradigm change has happened over in Aus., and adoption is now seen as the last option, not the first. This is as it should be, because let’s not forget that despite “child protection” supposedly being about protecting kids; that child only exists for 18 years at most. Adoption stays inflicted upon us for the rest of our lives though.

If the Government are going to keep aiming to annihilate more and more childrens’ heritages, then they need to give the adult that child grows into the option to nullify their adoption. “As if” it never was.

ETA on 16 Sep
Another course bites the dust: Closure of MSc in MH Social Work at Institute of Psychiatry.


Footnotes:
[1] {THIS} is the .pptx that never happened, and {THIS} is the script I was stumbling over. And {THIS} little piggy is the snippet of a cam. copy of The Avengers, with the bit where “everyone” laughs when Thor says “he’s adopted” about Loki.

Written by 7rin

Wed, 4 July, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Big Shiny Adoption

leave a comment »

Before I respond, I’d just like to clarify that as well as being an adoptee, I’m also a massive Joss fan, and a Lokean too. As such, there’s only one part of this article that I’d like to criticise…

{quote}
All joking aside, adoption is an awesome thing. It brings children to families who perhaps cannot have children of their own … and it brings families to those children who … don’t have one
{/quote}

So sayeth Arse-bot, over at Big Shiny Robot.

Unfortunately – especially in America – adoption is no longer about providing children with families. Unfortunately – especially in America – adoption is far more about providing adults with children.
Unfortunately – especially in America – adoption is nothing more than BIG BUSINESS.

The Finances

“The National Council for Adoption: Mothers, Money, Marketing, and Madness” parts One & Two goes into minute detail about how much PROFIT is made by so-called adoption “charities” from their trade in human life.

Additionally, Babies for Sale provides a PRICE LIST showing how a child that is not a ‘healthy white freshly-squeezed womb-wet’ can cost far far less – what with the disabled or the traumatised or the non-whites not even being as high as second-choice on the wannabe-parenting dream scale.

Finally on the theme of cost, this thread is a bunch of adoptees discussing how much each of them cost – along with the impact that such knowledge has had upon their lives.

Everyday Discrimination

Sadly, the truth of the matter is that adoptees in much of America are much maligned by their own Government – to the point that they are legally and lawfully discriminated against.

Got a (fake) birth certificate filed over a year after birth? Tough luck if you want anything like a passport or a driving licence then, because many adoptees are now finding that they are now ineligible to be provided with such things due to rules introduced in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks. Same goes for applying for jobs that require some forms of identification. I know adoptees who have experienced all these forms of discrimination directly.

Even if you’re not one of the adoptees suffering from discrimination that way, should you actually wish to get at YOUR OWN factual (as opposed to “amended”) birth certificate – sorry, but unless you’re in one of the few states that allow adoptees access to such things (six of them I think, though it may now be eight), then you’re pretty much out of luck. Even if you can (possibly) get at it, chances are that – unlike the other 98% of the population, you may actually have to go to court and beg and plead with the judge/s you’re petitioning in order to get what most of the rest of the population can walk into an office and get handed over the counter with almost no fuss at all.

Adoption Records by State is a useful list of lengths adoptees have to go to to get at something given willy-nilly to the rest of the population (since don’t forget, these laws also affect those who have been adopted by step-parents too – not just those of us who weren’t even good enough for our own families to want to bother with).

Of course, this also affects international adoptees in ways that are even more devastating, with some being deported back to their original countries

The Emotional Costs

Being adopted, contrary to popular belief, is not “wonderful”.

Adoptees face a multitude of psychological issues that the non-adopted rarely experience. However, being such a vast subject, I’ll resort to saying please visit the link included for further details.

Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful” – The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE

Finally, for a far more coherent rebuttal of the quoted text than anything I’ve managed to throw together yet, please go read Amanda’s post, “The Opposite of Adoption“. In fact, if you’re AT ALL interested in adoption and its effect on the adopted, then please go and read lots of posts in Amanda’s exceedingly articulate blog.



 

ETA: Tue 15 May 2012 @ 02:42

I’ve mentioned in one of these The Avengers posts, the wealth of other articles and blogs on the subject. Unfortunately, I’ve been having a hard time tracking down all the ones I thought I had read. Thus this ETA section of this post will be dedicated to linking to articles and blogposts on the subject, sometimes (though not always) from adoptees themselves. Feel free to nominate any posts that you feel worthy of inclusion, should I have missed it. I may not add them all, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be suggested.

May 06
Disney, Adoption and The Avengers… by Doug7856
… with alex9179’s reply being my favourite explanation of the scene yet.

May 10
Some in the Adoption Community Angered by ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ by Arse-bot

May 11
Was ‘Avengers’ joke cruel to adoption community? by msnbc.com Entertainment (has link to msnbc.com Entertainment website post on the issue)

‘Avengers’ Joke Does Impact Kids Waiting For Adoption by Beth Robinson

May 14

Why I Found “The Avengers” Line Offensive by Amanda

My thoughts on the “he’s adopted” line from the Avengers/I’m an angry adoptee by kostvollmers

NCFA is not the “Expert” on Adoption Issues by Susan P

May 16
That ‘He’s Adopted’ One-Liner in ‘The Avengers’? Not Funny. by Jessica Cromwell

May 17
An Angry Adoptee Fangirl Responds To Avengers Adoption Joke by Triona Guidry

The Avengers attack on adopted children is mean and unfunny by Andrea Poe

In an article proving how spot-on the original complaints are, Natalie Zutter goes to great lengths in demonstrating her own lack of lack of comprehension.

May 18
Avengers: He’s Adopted Joke Creating Controversy by Scott Johnson

May 20
Another “The Avengers” Interpretation: Your not a “Real” Member of your Family by Amanda

May 21
Stigmas About Adoption Remain, and Hurt Families by Abbie Goldberg

May 29
I Belly-Laughed all the Way Through the Avengers by Earth Stains

ETA: Wed 05 September 2012 @ 00:04

He’s adopted – Thor (Avengers) Facebook page

===========================================

Not about the controversy, but where I got the link to Tom Hiddleston’s article: A little homework for you…

Also not directly related, but something I found while ‘liking’ EB’s Team Loki (Tom Hiddleston) fan page: How to tell Loki that he’s adopted.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 12 May, 2012 at 9:03 pm

All joking aside …

with 3 comments

{quote}
All joking aside, adoption is an awesome thing.
{/quote}

So sayeth Arse-bot, over at Big Shiny Robot.

The comment has, of course, really really annoyed me – but not just because it’s yet again someone who has no experience of what it’s like to be adopted telling everyone the complete opposite of what it’s actually like to be adopted.

No.

Much more important is the fact that the final paragraph – the one that begins with the that heinous, quoted phrase – is the only thing marring an otherwise accurate account of some of the recent bitching from some within the adoption community about Joss‘s new film, ‘The Avengers‘.

Now I know what you’re all wondering – how could anyone in their right minds bitch about anything Joss has ever given to us?

Were it only adoptees complaining, I would point out that actually, many of us aren’t in our right minds – not least thanks to the pressures applied through socialisation upon the adoptee to ‘become’ this other person that is not the product of their own biological parentage. Of course, by making such a statement, I too would likely be slammed by some of the adoption community for daring to feed into the stigma already faced by adoptees – so it’s probably a good job that not many people read this blog. ;)

It’s not just from the adoptees though. One of the links included within this post – Rage Against the Minivan – is an adopters blog. It is also the first blog I encountered issuing complaints against The Avengers.

So why are there so many complaints?

I think probably the most important part of the answer is that – due to wads and wads of abuse directed at adoptees – many involved with adoption have become over-sensitised to what may or may not be an actual insult.

Unfortunately, adoptism, like tallism and fatism and gingerism is one of the last bastions of insult. In a world where being racist and sexist and disablist is frowned upon, there is a shortage of candidates for the butt of jokes, and since so many people believe the hype about adoption being all rainbow-farting unicorns, being adopted is one of the fastest growing jokes. Of course, should people – especially those who are adopted – dare to speak out about such negative stereotyping, they are almost inevitably chastised, and reminded that adoptees should be “grateful” that they weren’t aborted/thrown out with the waste/left languishing in an orphanage/etc.

Great, eh.

Problem is, these jokes that adoptees grow up hearing, are a part of the socialisation that we experience. From these jokes, we begin to learn from an early age that we are second best, the booby prize, and almost certainly doomed to become either a serial killer, or some other form of insane-off-the-rails mess. It matters not whether we love being adopted, or hate being adopted, or even don’t really care about being adopted – all the time we are the “final resort”, the “last chance”, or perhaps even the “cure for infertility”.



 
In other stuff: It’s taken me almost a whole day to write this one post, which clearly indicates that my head is still not working as well as I would like. It also means that this post, like many others I attempt to write, has become almost as lost as I have been in recent years – thus I’m quitting now (just this post, not bloggin’ as a whole), while I’m still at least vaguely ahead and have produced something vaguely coherent.

I started writing it, not just in answer to Arse-bot’s article, but because I wanted to say something on here about the petition anyway. It just so happens that many of the points I was going to make were far more credibly covered by Arse-bot, and so instead, I ended up heading somewhere else.

Of course, being Lokean and a lover of Joss also gives me an alternative perspective on this than many of those who’ve complained about The Avengers, but it looks like that’s a post or another day. For now, I’m off back over to Arse-bot’s article to attempt to construct a coherent response to that bloody annoying quote that I started this post off with.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 12 May, 2012 at 6:54 pm

%d bloggers like this: