Adoption Alternatives


This is how we need to live, need to fight, need to stand for each other

I will support any adoptee, mom or pregnant woman tat comes my way. I will help them in any way possible. I don’t care if they were born in the 40’s or yesterday. I don’t care if they are anti adoption or not.(as long as they aren’t trying to make me change my mind on my views on the subject) I don’t care if they live next door to me or in Antarctica. I will help them any way I can. I will fight the industry without sacrificing the actual people I meet along the way. I will not reinjure injured people to get something accomplished. I will not become what I hate

Read the rest at Aborted Mother

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I always find myself surprised and infuriated by peoples assumption about my position on adoption. So many people, when they find out I am anti adoption automatically jump to the conclusion that I 1) think children should stay in abusive situations 2)think that DNA is more important than love

I do think family is important, I do think genetics is important, really important actually, but I don’t think its more important than security and nurture. The assumption is always made that I don’t know that children get abused and this drives me crazy. The reason my siblings and I ended up in care in the first place was because of physical abuse and neglect.

So I know abuse happens and I know it has adverse effects on children. I still live with the damage that abuse did to me and I probably always will. I don’t think we should have been left with my mother in the state she was, at the point we were taken away. but the thing is I think if the right sort of intervention happens before that point a lot more families could be kept together.

My mother had very little education and was very probably had undiagnosed untreated schizophrenia and postnatal depression. If she had support with her mental health. if she had access to education, if my father hadn’t been sent in prison things may have been really different.

At the point we were taken in to care my mother was 25 ands had six kids under 11 to look after on her own, that would put a strain on any woman. How much more stressful is that going to be for a woman with no support, with serious mental health issues who is living is extreme poverty?

I think financial support, mental health support, education and community support would cut down on the abuse of children massively and mean that lots of children didn’t have to be separated from their families.

However, I also know that with the best will in the world sometimes it just wont work, sometimes children do need to be separated from their families and I don’t think that they shouldn’t be. Children need to be safe and secure and nurtured and away from abuse. But there are many many ways of dealing with that situation without bringing adoption in to it.

I understand that my actual position on adoption is going to piss people off because people want to believe that adoption is a win/win/win situation for everyone, because people think that middle class white women deserve children no matter what, because people think that our western society is so wonderful that all children should be bought up here. But seriously? Why make dumb assumptions about things I don’t believe. There is no space to have a discussion about this if people insist on setting up straw men.

The guardian recently did an investigation into the state of Britain’s foster care system and unsurprisingly it is an underfunded chaotic mess. I’m sure the people who work with in it absolutely have their hearts in the right place but they are not actually going to make any difference because the whole idea is intrinsically flawed. It all circles round on itself

Children who have been in the care system are far more likely to become teenage parents than their peers. “We struggle a little bit with children in care having children. There is a very negative, repeated cycle – they have ­children, and their children go through the care system again. Being a looked-after child, there is a significant risk of having another child in the care system,” Delores, who has worked as a social worker for 14 years, says.

“We are always quite shocked when young people who have been in the care system have children who get referred to us. I have seen it a lot with children who were in care, in secure units, in foster care or residential care. We have to remove their children because they can’t parent them, they can’t given them ­emotional warmth. They can’t do it.”

Parents who have been through the care system are twice as likely to lose the right to care for their own children – this is just one of many negative indicators about the dismal life chances for children who are looked after by the state.

So it seems Foster care as it is done now is actually more damaging for families and society. It doesn’t break destructive cycles it perpetuates them

I used to think putting more money in the foster care system would fix it and its clear that the foster care system is deeply underfunded:

It is clear from the state of the office carpets that money is tight. The phones are old, the computers are old, there are old grey filing cabinets, pushed together at ugly angles, there are a lot of unhealthy, deadish plants, the walls are covered with stranded spots of Blu-Tack and dried-up sticky tape

Probably training foster carers would make a difference: according to the government website preparation for becoming a foster carer consists of

Once it has been decided you are suitable to become a foster carer, The Criminal Records Bureau will check that you have not committed an offence which would exclude you from fostering. You will also have a health check, to rule out any health problems.

A social worker will then help you fill in an application form and you will be asked to attend a group preparation session with other people who are applying.

Finally your application will be sent to an independent fostering panel, which will recommend whether or not you can become a foster carer. This can take up to six months.

Which seems like less than adequate preparation for supporting and living with traumatised children. But even if foster carers were given excellent training I still don’t think that would be the answer. It wouldn’t solve or remove all the issues that caused the child to be removed in the first place.Every situation in the report involved poverty, mental health issues, addiction or learning disabilities on the part of the parents. So while there does need to be more money spent on supporting families and keeping children safe, instead of putting it into the foster care system why not spend it on rehab programs, mental health support, training and employing people to help parents with learning difficulties/disabilities to look after their children? Why not train would be foster carers as family support workers. Why not set up community support centers? Why not focus on community regeneration?

There will always be emergencies, there will always be situations where children have to be removed from their parents but putting and infrastructure like this in place would cut down enormously on the children being taken into care. It would also support families who need extra support but are under the radar of social services or families who are to scared to ask for social services support because they fear if they do their children will be taken away,

instead of focusing on overhauling foster care having an infrastructure like this would prevent the double trauma of abuse/neglect and then the removal from the family that children in care have to go through.

Earthquake orphan appeal: Do not adopt earthquake orphans

I am really excited about this! I stumbled across this charity on The One Show

Currently if a family become homeless social services has a legal obligation to take the children into care, which is horrendous, why they don’t have a legal obligation to house the whole family I don’t know

Save the family are a charity that houses and supports homeless families to stop their children being taken into care and teaches them life skills to deal with family life.

As well as being a humane and compassionate way to support people it is also very cost effective. It costs 50,000 pounds to keep a child in care for a year. Save the family can house support and reeducate/train a whole family for slightly less than that. It also will have an enormous positive knock on effect for the economic and social future. According to the After Adoption web site people who have spent time in the care system are sixty six percent more likely to have their own children taken into care. So it’s really important to find ways of supporting families without splitting them up and without taking their children in to care if at all possible

I found these vids about the charity (the presenter is kind of annoying and patronising but they are worth while watching anyway)