Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

Posts Tagged ‘Post-adoption support

Support 4 #WASO

with one comment

This is my post supporting the Weekly Adoption Shout Out (#WASO), episode #36, whose suggested theme is “support”. :}

I could, to fulfil this theme, go over the many points I’ve made under my Post-adoption support tag, but those who’re already reading me ‘ve probably read much of that lot already, and those who’re new to this blog via this post aren’t gonna wanna wade through a tag’s worth of posts before you’ve finished reading this first post. Thus, instead of talking about the lack of post-adoption support that adoptees receive, I’m going to talk about the support that I have had. Predominantly, this support has been from within the Adoption Community, however, I do have the privilege of having some exceptional non-adoption related friends, many who have seen me at the lowest points of my life. That those people are still willing to be associated with me is in itself is priceless support.

The Adoption Community is, like all niches, a conglomeration of extremes. I’ve been lucky enough to find some of the sanest (they’ll deny every word of it ;)) of the bunch that there is. I’d love to do name lists ‘n’ stuff like that, but when I do that I’m always worried I’ll upset someone by them not being remembered in time for listing, so instead I’m going to talk about how important the type of support that adoptees can give other adoptees is.

I haven’t, sadly, had all that much opportunity to talk to adoptee-comprehending people in Real Life(tm), thus the virtual support I get through my Internet connection is pretty much the only chance I get to acquire conversations with people with whom I don’t have to preface everything I say about my life with why it’s adoptee-triggery. I am talking to people who’ve accepted that no matter what their current station in life, the effects that adoption and all that it entails has had upon their lives actually has influenced the way they deal with Life(tm) and the triggery things it throws at us. This is what we mean by adoption honesty.

It doesn’t matter if we’ve been ‘lucky enough’ to have ragingly successful careers, or managed to bag a Job For Life as soon as we left school, or not found a Job(tm) until we’re beyond 40; our adoption continues to impact us on a daily basis in ways that the non-adopted don’t (usually) realise. Genealogy is big business and there are ad’s from Ancestry and Genes Reunited across T.V., radio, everywhere now – yet what does the adoptee get told? this yearning for some stranger who gave you up because of a biological link is a slap in the face

Adoptees have to deal with this sort of stuff often, and so finding educated adoptees who’ve been able to help me learn where the information about $subject is has been incredibly helpful in learning how to deal with such seeming dichotomies. We aren’t supposed to want to know from whence we came, unlike the rest of the population. We’re instead supposed to form an attachment to our adopted lines, which stops when it hits us anyway ’cause we don’t count. We’re not blood.

If bloodlines don’t count, then why is 23andme and all t’other tracing companies growing so fast?

Other adoptees understand how confusing these thoughts get, and the gamut of emotions they can engender. Other adoptees help guide us down in ways others can’t begin to get near.

Written by 7rin

Sun, 29 September, 2013 at 5:16 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

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 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.

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

I did it! I made a difference!

with one comment

It takes time and luck to get things moving in the right direction, but today I had my first ever real tangible “success”.

One of the things I know helps adoptees is having other adoptees to talk to. It’s part of the reason I make so many “places” for us, or to direct us towards. When I saw Amanda’s post, I couldn’t not make the suggestion.

That the following Twit was posted very shortly after makes all the fighting I’ve done worthwile, because one of the hardest things about getting support groups together IRL is having an appropriate physical location to do it in, but I’ve managed to help make it available to at least some of us.

This IS a success.

Of course, now it’s up to the adoptees to take up the offer and get themselves there.

Still thrilled I managed to help make it happen though. Am incredibly chuffed. :D

But still we need more offers like this. More awareness of adoptees, and not just of adoption.

{3 of 30} Wasting Away

with 2 comments

Less than a week in, and already I’m a fail – it’s the 4th already, yet I’m only on the third post.

One of the main issues I’ve covered in this blog in the past (in general, not just this month) is my battle to get some form of adoptee-appropriate therapy (see the post-adoption support tag for some examples). Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms I’ve got against adoption as it stands for UK adoptees today is that, aside from the irrevocability of it all, while there’s this insane drive to create more of us, it seems as if nothing is being done to help those of us that have already been created. It’s not even compulsory for any of the authorities to provide adoptee-specific counselling once an adoptee hits 18, yet it is not until far into adulthood that many adoptees even realise that some (many, often) of the issues they’re dealing with are related to the impact that adoption has upon the psyche.

Quoting Nancy Verrier’s essay:

The coping mechanisms the adoptee believed would keep him safe while growing up are not very helpful in adult relationships. They are just that: coping skills, not true personality. Each adoptee is a unique individual, yet those coping skills are quite predictable. Gradually replacing coping skills with the true self should be a goal.

However, all the self-help books in the world can not help the adult who wants to be able to claw back some semblance of humanity over coping skills if that adult can not see which of their behaviours are true personality, and which are simply coping mechanisms borne of the devastating loss of ones own genealogical everything. This is why adult adoptees are at least as in need of trained, adoptee-specific psychological assistance as those adoptees who have not yet reached that magical cut-off point of 18 years of age, yet we get nothing.

We get nothing, and are expected to be grateful for our loss.

This fails to make sense, especially considering that had we stayed with our genealogical progenitors and been abused by them (’cause all adoptees’d be abused if they stayed with their b’rents, doncha know :p), then we would have no problem accessing appropriate psychological interventions as adults – as my own brother has demonstrated by his repeated ease of obtaining counselling. Yet adoptees can not undertake just any old counselling. The adoptee requires adoptee-specialists who don’t come out with idiotic and DANGEROUS questions such as “but aren’t you grateful?” like I got asked by the Chase Wellbeing counsellor that was the last person I got access to (back in ~May 2010). Yet this specialist help is not available – or, at least, not available without paying extortionate charges. Yet still the government continues to create more of us – with tomorrow being the first day of National Adoption Week 2012 (which I refuse point-blank to link to, since they refuse to print anything this “Adoption Champion” has written (it’s true, I am, I have the pack ‘n’ get e-mailed each year)).

This is cruel and abusive treatment, surely?

Written by 7rin

Sun, 4 November, 2012 at 4:32 pm

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

Title entered here

with one comment

In an effort to reinvigorate my brain, I am going to – yet again – attempt to blog.

As this particular post is winding up in my adoption blog, obviously the subject is to do with adoption – however, as of yet, this post is unformed, and thus may travel in any direction from here.

An obvious starting point could be the first -gate fiasco I’ve heard of this year – that of the Circle of Moms Adoption Blog Award controversy. Real Daughter encapsulated the drama, whilst poor Declassified Adoptee tries hard not to rage in hurt over it all. Other notable posts encountered today can be found by Joy’s Division, Life As Eri Knows It, and iAdoptee.

In other adoption-related stuff, I have spent some of the week pouring over UK adoption legislation in an effort to understand how I need to word what it is I am fighting for. Of course, to be able to do this, I also need it clear in my head what parts of which fight are included where. I started trying to do sort things out August 2010, which I know because the post is still sat in my drafts’ folder. The title was “separating the issues”, and the opening sentence asks:

When it comes to discussing adoption, just how many individual issues are there?

Following that is a link to a discussion on gay adoption – followed by a list: ‘pre-adoption’, ‘post-adoption’ and ‘birth certificate – to amend or not?’

The list described is significantly different to the latest lists I’ve been compiling. Now my lists bear titles such as ‘problems & proposals’, and begin with:

1. Bring in law let adoptees overthrow adoption
2. Change law that covers adoptee rights to seek help from suitably qualified

… and further includes lists like:

Points to pull out

1. Annul adoption / adopting back = adult adoption
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

2. Lack of support – gmt guide only insist up until 18, why Staff’s not provide when others do

a) If abused = ok to be ‘troubled’ – if adopted = gratefulness required

lack of appropriate support for adults who were adopted as children

While yes, we were once adopted children, we are now adopted adults.

I think the most clarifying explanation comes from my response to Aidan Burley, M.P. however, where I explain that he is:

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.

Theses describe – pretty accurately – how I feel about adoption. I recognise that children need permanence, but severing the history of the person who is the one already losing everything else is nothing short of barbaric.

For those interested, my Adoption Mania blog has an entry quoting some of Jenny Keating’s works. The quotes remind the reader that legal annihilation of someone’s past did not begin until the 1920s in England, and were begun to protect the adopting parents from the evil biological families. All this separation does however, is stupefy the child, leaving it left to work out the world with nothing familiar about it. Daniel’s post, while seeming far from the history of adoption in England, does have some commonalities, and also links back well with the kinds of proposals I would like to see (such as greater care within the extended family for a child with parents that won’t/don’t/can’t parent, and a lack of legal annihilation).

And that, I think, is enough for you for now. I appreciate the attention of anyone who has managed to make it this far through the post, and congratulate you on your ability to withstand reading such waffley shit. ;)

Written by 7rin

Sat, 14 April, 2012 at 12:29 am

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