Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

Posts Tagged ‘Discussion

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

My heart’s desire

with one comment

In the thread from which https://twitter.com/martinnarey/statuses/375024235753639936 descends, there’s the usual bunch of us complaining that Sir @martinnarey isn’t listening to us and doesn’t want to help any of us get anywhere ’cause we don’t fit into his “helpable” category of #adoption stuff. The linked post is the first time he’s commented directly to me to do anything other than answer ‘easy’ stat’s/yes/no stuff since my 7rin respecting Narey? post, a point upon which my protestations have been based on.

I’m guessing from his response that Sir @martinnarey hasn’t been reading too many of the links I’ve been posting with his @ name attached. Then again, he may’ve just been confused by me pointing out that I actually wasn’t fighting for face-to-face time with him, unlike so many of the others within the thread. My fight is not personally for me, and so doesn’t need to be conducted behind closed doors in order to protect identities or ongoing cases nor any such things, which is why while I understand his request to take this to email, I’d actually rather not because I need *MY* comments open to others in order to make sure I’m not missing any fundamental points out from my reasonings during my arguments.

Thus, this post is answering what it is I’m hoping that Sir @martinnarey may be able to help current and future adoptees with.

For those who’re unaware of the extent of my ‘relationship’ with Sir @martinnarey, https://adoptedintheuk.wordpress.com/tag/martin-narey/ will give you a brief run-down. I don’t dislike the guy, and think that actually yeah, his heart is (generally) “in the right place”. However, I do think he is deeply misguided in his belief that the impact of adoption loss on adoptees is “minimal”. There is a massive collection of voices out in the adoptee blogosphere explaining quite how much simply the act of getting adopted hurts in ways that the unadopted usually fail to comprehend, and even those like Michael Gove who’re Adoption Poster Children(tm) demonstrate quite how much pain even the “happy” adoptees get. Adoptee socialisation is insidious, and unrecognised as trauma by far far far too many.

I summarised the two small changes that *I’m* wanting to be made to adoption practice in the UK (heck, in the whole world, actually) in https://adoptedintheuk.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/stop-trashing-adoption/ but for Sir @martinnarey and anyone else who might not’ve read the post, I’ll quote it here:

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

1. I’ll stop trashing adoption when http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38120 has been passed into law, thus giving the ADOPTEE the right to make THEIR OWN choice.

2. I’ll stop trashing adoption when https://adoptedintheuk.wordpress.com/tag/post-adoption-support/ 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.

However, back in the 7rin respecting Narey? post, Sir @martinnarey conceded that despite his position as the incumbent UK Government’s Adoption Advisor (and not an Adoption Tsar as suggested by some press :p), he:

can’t help you with your wish to change the law so that an adult can annul adoption.

What I don’t understand, and what I’d like Sir @martinnarey to explain to me (and anyone else willing to read his words) why it is the UK Government’s Adoption Advisor *can’t* help with such a thing?

Of course, personally I believe that such moves should come with a whole other bunch of changes in legislation about how getting names added on/taken off BIRTH certificates, but that’s a whole ‘nother bunch of posts on their own.

I’ll also keep fighting until adoptee get access to specialised adoptee-comprehending psych mental health support from people who understand the true depth of issues that adoptees grow up experiencing. While I know budgets are being cut left, right, and centre, and that even juvenile adoptees are going short on the help needed, if you’re (generic Governmental Minister/Advisor etc.) going to be creating more of us faster – at least give us all the tools to be able to deal with it.

What I’d really really REALLY like from Sir Martin Narey is the support to get these two significant but minor changes through, even if only eventually (I know legislation can take years of pushing), but I don’t think I’m gonna get it. What I’d at least appreciate is an answer to the points I’ve raised in this post, taking into account the stuff said in the 7rin respecting Narey? post. Such an answer doesn’t need to be on here, it can be one his wonderfully crafted over at SlideShare or anything like that. My only requests are that such an answer is both publicly available, and a continuation not ending of discussion.

This post also being added to http://theadoptionsocial.com/weekly-adoption-shout-out/weekly-adoption-shout-out-waso-week-33/

Written by 7rin

Sun, 8 September, 2013 at 1:07 am

Is child abuse natural?

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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

I did it! I made a difference! Again!

with one comment

This post not only launched an awesome thread of its own, but also spawned a side-thread that yielded startling results too.

Part of the way down this second thread, I suddenly throw in…

Make A Show Of Yourselves was the page that had startled me with it’s adoption advocative language.

Immediately though, understanding entirely the point I was raising, Amanda was on to it …

And that, my friends, is another concrete achievement, because it’s the way we use the language that impacts adoptees far more than, for example, Sir Martin Narey appears to concede.

Written by 7rin

Mon, 18 March, 2013 at 12:08 pm

How much do people know?

with 6 comments

The following quotey bit is the question I asked over on the AAAFC General Discussion forum (on 26 February 2012). I’m re-posting the question here because I’m fed up with so many people going on about how they knew this adoptee who was oh so happy with being adopted, etc. Unfortunately, due to AAAfC being locked down from public viewing (not a complaint, just pointing out facts), a valuable discussion that could help educate others about the issue has been lost for linking to, and so I’m asking in here, and would appreciate any feedback given.

{quote}
I do wonder how many of the adoptees out there just lack the language available ’cause it’s not acknowledged by the general population (i.e. adoption fucks you up), rather than so many people being said by others to be “happy” with their adoptions.

Ok, this is that new post that sprung out of my head when I was finishing typing ^^that.

How many people know how you actually REALLY feel about adoption and all that it entails?

F’r instance, would your amom’s cousin describe you as “well our I’s adopted daughter’s turned out just fine, and isn’t at all bothered by her adoption”? Or does everyone that’s anyone know that “well, L’s daughter was adopted, but she’s entirely unhappy with the fact that it happened, and would counsel anyone contemplating the thought against it”?

Those of my families that’re on FB probably can’t help but be aware that I’m most definitely not a “happy adoptee”, given how much I post on the subject. Not sure how much the rest of my families know of my opinion on the issue. I don’t think amom’s cousin’d describe me as “happy with adoption” any more, but icbw.
{/quote}

I also know I’m not the only one who finds this habitual reaction to pretty much anything an adoptee says both irritating, and disempowering.

Written by 7rin

Wed, 6 February, 2013 at 4:34 am

Posted in RFD

Tagged with , ,

Surrogates & donor dads

with one comment

One of the many options in creating a child these days is that of surrogacy and donor sperm. This option – like adoption – is lauded as a valid and valuable way to “create a family”. Also similar to adoption, the kids that are created in this way are frequently described as gifts – thus negating their status as human beings, and instead consigning their existence to nothing more than a commodity to be handed over to their purchaser/s.

In accordance with adoptees, there are many donor conceived off-spring blogs springing up that echo the losses adoptees face, however, this post is less about those more usually expressed losses, and more to do with something that has been niggling me of late.

One of the posts over at the 7rin-on-adoption repository links to research that confirms the existence of cell migration from the embryo to the gestating carrier. While I don’t have links to research confirming that this happens in the other direction, I strongly suspect (based on my limited knowledge and massive assumptions) that this must happen – otherwise, where does the growing embryo attain its sustenance? Thus, I am concerned that articles exist suggesting that …

Gestational surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby to term for a couple. The gestational surrogate or carrier doesn’t donate her own egg, so she’s not biologically related to the child she carries. Rather, the egg and sperm come from the couple or from a donor egg and/or sperm.

… and that people can be believing this is a truthful synopsis of the situation.

Surely if the gestational carrier and the developing embryo share a symbiotic relationship, then the child that is later born – whether it originated from an egg produced by its carrier or otherwise – does have some genetic relationship with its carrier that is being readily dismissed as unworthy of mention and/or research?

I would appreciate any knowledgeable input on this subject as I admit, it is a subject I know very little about. However, I am concerned that these connections – as with the connections adoptees possess with their genealogical families – are being reduced and mitigated, perhaps in an effort to negate the importance of the nurturing role these carriers bear in order to further exploit women’s reproductive capabilities.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 2 February, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Questions

Tagged with , ,

Narey on Adoption

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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

7rin respecting Narey?

with 5 comments

The following’s a direct c’n’p of an email response from myself to “Adoption Czar” <vom> Martin Narey, which occurred as a result of me finally poking him often enough of Twitter to get him to respond. It’s on here because it explains so much of what I’m fighting for, and why.


At some space near in time to 02/10/2012 11:03, Martin Narey swore:

> Dear [7rin],

It’s Mx [surname], but please, feel free to call me 7rin[snippage].

> Thanks for this E mail which I saw for the first time yesterday (my
> guess is that the anonymity of your E mail address will be picked up
> by other Spam filters as well as mine).

Point accepted, however this email address is as old as Gmail (bar a few months), and so it’s not something likely to change in the near future.

> Also, I’m sorry if you thought I should have replied sooner but,
> contrary to popular belief, I have no staff, no assistance and am
> supposed to work on adoption issues for just one or two days a week.

I didn’t know you were so limited on the time you’re supposed to spend working on adoption issues, given your (sorry, but it’s appalling) title of Adoption Czar. I did also imagine you would have at least some staff aiding you in your task, however, the nudge on Twitter to reply was, as much as anything, to let you know the email had been sent. After all, there would be little point emailing you again to ask if you had received it, because if you hadn’t, then chances are you would also not receive the prompt asking such. I apologise, however, if it came across as demanding an immediate response (a “yes I’ve got it, I’m working on it” reply on Twitter would have sufficed – but of course, you weren’t to know that).

> I can’t help you with your wish to change the law so that an adult
> can annul adoption.

Your sentence following ^this aside, can you please enlighten me on why you – our famed Adoption Czar – can not help with such a thing? Only, it seems to me that such a thing could easily be integrated into any improvements you plan on making to the current adoption system, as it would simply be yet another improvement made. Thus if our famed Adoption Czar can not help change adoption for the better, then surely your role is essentially redundant?

> Others will have told you this but, essentially, at the age of 18 we
> are all adults and adoption has essentially expired. Your adoptive
> parents cannot restrain your behaviour in any way. You can change
> your name and, if you so wish, ignore the fact that you were ever
> adopted.

If that were true, then I would have no qualm with adoption – however, it is patently false that at the age 18, adoption has essentially expired. We remain adopted for the entirety of our lives, once adoption has occurred, and yes, even as adults, our adopters can – should they wish – restrain our behaviour. The following examples highlight instances of where the adopted remain – even as adults – perpetually infantilised by their adoptee status.

Example 1.

Contrary to popular belief, not all adopters are suitable parents, and some are overtly abusive to the children they adopt. Further, even those who are generally suitable as parents, may in fact be abusive in ways are not currently recognised as being abusive – such as attempting to prevent the adoptee from even contemplating reunion with their genealogical relatives by demonstrating that their feelings would be incredibly hurt by such. It is for this reason that many adoptees – including Michael Gove (who explained exactly this in his interview available at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/election/article-1268403/MICHAEL-GOVE-My-birth-mother-knows-I-Ill-try-track-down.html ) – suppress their own entirely natural desire to seek out the genetic reflection necessary for the healthy development of the personality that can be found from reuniting with their genealogical relatives. Even where adopters (nor the wider adoptive family) do not emphasise this, the adoptee remains pressured by socialisation to not reunite – with those doing so being described as “bad adoptees” or “ungrateful”. Again, Mr Gove’s interview gives an example of this, as he shares that his adoptive mom has previously informed him that “My mother has always said if I want to [trace her] I should”, yet he still says that “I know, though, that she would take it as an indication that I did not feel my life or upbringing was fulfilled”. Whilst it is understandable that there may be apprehension and wariness of the unknown (especially for those removed through Social Services’ interventions), being perpetually forced into the role of a child results in many adoptees negating their own needs in order to satisfy what they have been taught is the ‘right’ way to behave as a grateful adoptee.

Example 2.

Adoption is the legal severance of a child from one family, whilst grafting that child legally on to a different family, in the main for whom they are not I any other way related to. As adults, these adoptees remain legally severed from their own genealogical relatives, despite the fact that they may live with them. Indeed, I am aware of some older adult adoptees who were expelled from their adopters’ homes at 15 years old, and who have spent the intervening decades living with and amongst only their own genealogical relatives, having absolutely no contact what-so-ever with any of their sill-legally related adoptive families. Yet should anything happen to those adoptees, it is the still-legally related adoptive families whose preferences would be taken into account should any decisions need to be made regarding those adult adoptees, despite the fact that they abandoned the adoptee before adulthood *and* that the adoptee has spent the intervening years encompassed within their genealogical relatives. It is for these people that the ability for adoptees to be able to annul THEIR OWN adoptions is necessary.

Example 3.

This example stems from my own personal circumstances.

I lost my genealogical family connections at seven months old because Social Services wanted to put me into foster care (yet strangely, they didn’t want to remove my half-sister, who was 18 months older). In order to “save” me from “bouncing around” foster care (her words), my mom asked around friends and family to find out if there was anyone who would be willing to take me in for adoption. Thus, the Saturday before the Wednesday that Social Services were planning on removing me, the couple who eventually adopted me turned up following a telephone call to their next-door neighbour (the sister of a friend of my mom’s friend) to decide if they wanted to take me on “as if” I was “their own” (which is what adoption implies). As they had been unable to produce a child of their own they had already been seeking to adopt, and had recently been “scammed” by someone who eventually gave the boy they were planning on adopting to a different family. Thus, they decided that I would be a suitable replacement for both the child that they had been unable to produce between themselves and that the boy that they had hoped to adopt, and took me away immediately, and the adoption order was granted six months later. The day that I was taken away from my mom and my sister was the last time I saw anyone to whom I am genealogically related (other than my own daughter whom I bore at 18 years old), until I entered reunion at 37 years old.

Following reunion, I discovered that in addition to my maternal older sister (whose existence I was only informed of at the age of 17 whilst my adoptive mom was enraged at discovering I was pregnant with my daughter), I also have a younger maternal brother. Due to the appalling state of the bedsit in which my brother was living, at the beginning of this year, my brother moved in with us (again – he originally moved in within four months of reunion, but moved out to take on the bedsit that turned out to be in horrendous condition).

This brings me to my final point in this section.

Under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), Nearest Relative (NR) is a default designation that is applied to family. As my maternal half-brother is living with us, were he to be taken into (adult) care under this act, I would usually become his default NR due to our sibling relationship. However, because I am adopted, we are no longer legally related, thus any decisions that would need to be made would automatically default back to our mom, who abused both my siblings enough that either of them being detained under MHA is not beyond the realms of possibility (I am also suffering similarly, but from being adopted rather than from not being adopted). If I were able to annul my own adoption, this horrific state of affairs would no longer be true as my brother and I would share a legally recognised sibling relationship.

Information taken from: http://www.mind.org.uk/help/rights_and_legislation/nearest_relatives_under_the_mental_health_act_1983

In addition to this point, were ANY of my genealogical relatives admitted to hospital, because I am no longer legally related to ANY of them, it is entirely possible that the hospital could refuse me entry to see any relative, as I am unable to provide ANY proof of our relationship. Further, the converse would be true were I myself to be admitted to a hospital, with it being possible for my genealogical relatives to be barred from seeing me due to our lack of legal relationship.

Thus, as you see, adoption does NOT “essentially expire”, and continues to create problems for both adoptees and our genealogical kin far into adulthood – hence the necessity for it to become possible for adoptees to annul THEIR OWN adoptions *should THEY CHOOSE to*, because yes, our adopters can, should they wish, still control our lives.

> But, of course you should continue to campaign for what you believe
> in.

Oh, I will. Whilst I may feel like I am forever pounding my head upon a brick wall with not a soul listening except thousands of other adoptees who also experience these problems, I will continue to fight because if no-one fights for it, then those who remain unaffected by these issues may never learn that these issues exist for us.

> But you should, I suggest, look realistically at the fact that your E
> petition has only 37 supporters.

Early days yet.

;)

No, I don’t expect to get anywhere near the number of signatures necessary to get my petition heard in Parliament, but this is far more to do with the general public’s perception that adoption is all sunshine and rainbows. Whilst I already suspected such would be the case (due to interactions I’ve previously experienced around the Internet), this has been confirmed by some of the responses my posting the link to the petition has garnered, and so I do have a FAQ post under construction detailing some of my responses to the criticisms (and insults) that have been aimed at the petition itself, as well as at myself for daring to want such a change. Unfortunately, both living life and coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to adoption has hindered my writing skills somewhat – although constructing this response has aided in clarifying even more of some of my ideas, so hopefully the FAQ won’t take too much longer to produce (once I have completed cleaning up http://7rin-on-adoption.dreamwidth.org/ which has been created as a repository for adoption-related information).

> What I really wanted to say to you however (and because your tweets
> have sometimes been misleading but at least have been courteous)

Please do not presume that every comment I have made about you has been equally as courteous. I do not deny that I have made comments far more vindictive towards you than either Mr Hemming or Mr Lonsdale have shared on Twitter. I just don’t think somewhere ‘public’ like Twitter is the place for such displays, though obviously their opinion is otherwise.

> is that however much your experience of adoption has been painful for
> you it undermines you to suggest that is always the case.

I have never yet met an adoptee who wasn’t in pain. Some – many – disguise it by fitting into the image of a “good” adoptee, of which Michael Gove is a perfect example (e.g. previously mentioned article). Unfortunately, this results in those of us who do express the trauma we have experienced as being “bad” or “ungrateful” adoptees, whilst the truth is far more like Amanda explains in this post over at The Declassified Adoptee: http://www.declassifiedadoptee.com/2011/07/fallacies-of-angry-adoptee-and-happy.html

> Describing adoption as *n**ever right* as a *horror* or as *stealing*
> (as you have tweeted in the past few days) weakens any reasonable
> reservations about it which you may have.

That I may have? I understand that you’re saying my language goes too far in my expressions, but the latter half of your sentence has confused me. Feel free to rephrase if the following part fails to answer what you’re commenting on though.

Whilst I actually am aware that not every single adoption is unwanted (indeed, I actually assisted a friend who had been a long-term foster parent to two youths in his fight to adopt them because that is what the youths in question wanted), if no-one is seen to be complaining about nor suffering from $subject, then change is not deemed necessary. Unfortunately then, without extremists highlighting the worst case scenarios, it is extremely unlikely that necessary changes will occur within that subject. Thus, I speak in extremes in the majority of my Internet interactions in order to bring attention to the issues, but (as I’m hoping this email to you demonstrates), I am capable of rational discussion on an issue without being quite so extreme, as within a rational discussion, both sides *should* be able to listen to each other far more easily than in general interactions on social media.

> Because, of course, adoption isn’t always right. I believe (and say
> frequently) that it 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.

And therein lies the problem; the belief that adoption _does_ bring stability, *and* that it _does_ compensate. Again, it is part of the socialisation aspects popularising adoption, while negating the actual real everyday issues that adoptive families face, the same as every other family. Adopters – especially in the current economical situation – are as prone to job loss, and death, and divorce, and the myriad other issues that occur throughout life. Further, the very societal insistence that “adoption is good” adds even greater pressure to the adoptee, since it means that even those who are abused by their adopters (I know several adoptees who were physically, sexually, and mentally abused by their adoptive families) are still expected to proclaim the joys of adoption.

Adoption doesn’t make life better, it just makes it different. I was no better off growing up away from my genetic relatives than I would have been growing up with them, despite the fact that my kept maternal siblings suffered recognised abuse, while I was raised by a decent family. Closed adoption is ultimately destructive, and I have seen no indication that you desire to move away from as closed an adoption system as possible – however I am willing to be corrected upon this perception.

This also highlights how difficult talking about “adoption” is. Research into open adoption may show far different outcomes than research into closed adoption, yet it all categorised as “research supports the view that adoption is good”, while not delineating between which aspects are relative to what. I say adoption is abhorrent, you say adoption is great – nowhere in those sentences is enough information to tell if we are discussing remotely similar circumstances other than that the child involved can use an adoption certificate for identification purposes.

This is just another reason why I believe that adopted adults should be given the choice as to whether or not *they* want their adoption to be “forever”.

> Research around adoption is very clear about that.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of that research is funded by those with a vested interest in the continuation of the trade in children. In example, how many of the books on http://adoptionmania.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/recommended-reading/ have you read? My guess would be not a single one of them (though I am always happy to be proven wrong about such things), yet these are books that are strongly recommended by adoptees as these are books that deal with the traumas of adoption in a far more honest manner than a single article or book that I have seen from (for example) BAAF. Indeed, BAAF, Adoption UK, TACT, etc. not only produce adoptER centric material, the adoptEE material they produce do nothing more than reiterate the message that adoptees are “special” and “chosen” and “lucky” – even in the writings that directly state that these things are not the case, they still manage to make the adoptee seem to need to feel grateful for being “rescued” (regardless of circumstance).

Please, talk to people like Nancy Newton Verrier (see http://nancyverrier.com/about-the-author-nancy-verrier/ for more details) as the research from such as she is far more realistic than that put out by BAAF, Adoption UK, TACT, etc.

> My interest in it is an objective one, prompted by my experience in
> running Barnardo’s (who are involved these days in very few
> adoptions) and my anxiety about our tolerance of neglect and the need
> for us to intervene more promptly on neglect cases.

This is a conflation of issues though. Child protection can be done without the legal annihilation that is inflicted by adoption. This is why we have other measures such as Legal Guardianship. This is something I covered in my post over at https://adoptedintheuk.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/who-wants-to-take-bets-on-whether-i-presumed-correctly/ that was posted last night.

> There are some cases where the care decision may be wrong and of
> course not all children are taken into care because of neglect. You
> and others are right to expose such cases and the anger of some of
> your co-tweeters is understandable because sometimes they have lost
> their children. But my sincere advice to them is to concentrate on
> those cases rather than seek to suggest that adoption is *always*
> wrong. That is the stance often taken by John Hemming MP, and I’m
> afraid he may sometimes encourage others to take that approach. It
> does them no good at all (nor,might I add, does the abuse generated
> on Twitter, including some from someone who works for Mr Hemming).

Whilst I understand that you personally cannot look into each and every case – why not make it possible for cases to be presented to a TRULY independent body in order for their merit to be assessed? After all, with Social Workers under such pressures as they currently claim to be (a claim I am not denying may contain a vast amount of truth), then surely a system in which issues can be referred elsewhere will both free up time from those SWers who are having to try to repeatedly fight the same problems over and over, and give the public a far greater confidence in the work actually carried out?

I do sincerely detest the idea of children being removed for “at risk of future emotional harm” however, as removing children period inflicts emotional harm. This particular phrasing is something I will not fail to fight against, as it does NOT protect the very children it is claimed to be helping, but DOES inflict the emotional harm that is supposed to be being prevented in the first place.

> A few final points. You recently tweeted that Martin Narey *p**oint
> blank refuses to talk to adult adoptees. *That isn’t so. I talk to
> adult adoptees frequently and I know some adult adoptees particularly
> well including some whose lives have been transformed for the better
> by their experience.

My apologies – however, it was incredibly frustrating to see you responding to John Hemming and co’s insults, whilst seeming to ignore my own very un-insulting request for support for my ePetition. Even had it only been a short reply to say “I’ll look into it” or “email me to discuss this as Twitter’s not a suitable place to be able to discuss this”, it would have been better than no reply at all.

In reference to the talking to other adult adoptees, I would question whether those adoptees are in denial of the problems created by adoption, such as Mr Gove (as covered elsewhere), or whether they accept that there are issues within adoption? An example of alternative perspective to those in denial of the issues can be found at http://yoonsblur.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/sole-trauma-is-loss-that-occurs-before.html for comparison.

> I also talk to and exchange views frequently with some who disagree
> with me about adoption.

Which aspects though? There’s a difference between disagreeing about minor issues such as the time-scale that X should happen within, than about whether it should exist at all.

> The BBC radio documentary tomorrow night only includes John Hemming
> because I urged the BBC to speak to him and because i believe the
> system will sometimes get things wrong. We need to do more to
> identify those cases while accepting that care is right for the vast
> majority. You need to decide for yourself whether or not Mr Hemming
> serves the interests of those he claims to represent.

Oh, fret not. I’m well aware of whose interests Mr Hemming serves, however, up until I found the FFJ types at the start of this year, I felt like a bit of a lone voice in the UK. Previously, the only other people I had found interested in discussing the deep psychological impact that adoption has upon the person tended to be American adoptees. American adoptees, in the majority of states, have far less ‘rights’ than UK adoptees, and thus has engendered a far larger ‘movement’ towards fighting for adoption reform.

> 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 dug addictions) and if
> good quality kinship carers cannot be found, to find an alternative
> stability through adoption.

Please note, I’m in no way suggesting that children should be left within abusive situations – this is again a conflation of the issues of child protection with adoption, a common mistake that is encountered by many attempting to highlight the issues facing adoptees. I am only suggesting that the ADULT adoptee is given a choice as to whether or not they wish to remain adopted. Surely it is of little relevance whether the adoptee chooses to or not, since, as you yourself have said, “adoption essentially expires at 18 years of age” anyway? Thus, making it legal for an adoptee to annul their own adoption can only be beneficial to the system, as it means that it is not a permanent solution inflicted on someone who was in no position to give THEIR OWN consent to such legal annihilation.

Sincerest thanks for your considered reply, and I ask that we may please continue this dialogue? Whilst it may ultimately prove fruitless (from my perspective), I would far rather exhaust the discussion completely and retire knowing that at least we did try to find solutions, than to just have my very real and valid concerns dismissed as a one-off rarity. I am not a one-off, rare, special case. I didn’t have a “bad” adoption, nor did I suffer from an awful adoptive family – yet adoption still did not leave me (nor many others) any “better off” than any kept and abused siblings – it simply gave us different problems to deal with that are currently unrecognised by the majority of society. This results in us being further traumatised as – unlike our kept and abused siblings – our traumas are dismissed as nothing more than us “having a bad experience”.

After all… “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

As a final note, I will be pasting this reply of mine to you into a post on my site, http://adoptedintheuk.co.uk/ – not in an attempt to discredit you, nor show you up, nor any such thing, but (a) because it demonstrates that I was wrong and that you actually do talk to adoptees, and (b) helps explain some of my own ideas, thoughts and suggestions without having to write separate posts out. Whilst I have no problems with putting completely new posts on the site, I find it redundant to re-write something already explained elsewhere.

Yours, with respect
7rin

Written by 7rin

Thu, 4 October, 2012 at 4:44 pm

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

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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

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