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Archive for the ‘adoption process’ Category

Adoption: targets and figures

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calculator and graphNew figures on the number of adoptions in England and Wales are reported in the media today with the general message that there needs to be more adoptions and the process needs to be speeded up.

I’m always wary of these calls to action. Adoption figures can be related in so many emotive ways… “languishing in care” or the contrast “forced adoption… child snatchers”, leading to calls to increase or decrease the numbers of adoptions.

Focussing solely on numbers means you miss the factors that create those numbers. More exploration of the figures is needed to see where the bottlenecks are and what part of the process can be improved to address these.

There are faults with the adoption process and care system and these need to be addressed by improving systems and processes and offering the right support to professionals and families. But a rush to change everything and speed things up could lead to important steps being missed.

Myths about who can and can’t adopt need to be debunked and the process of adoption demystified.

Most importantly for me, the support of families and children is paramount. The ongoing impact of early abuse and neglect on children who go on to adoption is not given the same recognition as that of the looked after child, with some families opting for a long term foster care arrangement rather than adoption so that they don’t lose specialist services for their child.

Regardless of the numbers, the end result of all these processes should be that a child is living in the family setting that is best for them and that they are given the best chance to thrive.

Related posts
It’s not about the numbers

BAAF statement 28/09/11

Written by adoptresources

September 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm

It’s not about the numbers

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calculator and graphMartin Narey, the outgoing CEO of Barnardos and Tim Loughton, Children’s Minister have called for a reconsideration of current practice in relation to matching ethnicity in adoption to increase the number of adoptions. This is definitely an area that needs to be addressed but the whole matching and approval process would benefit from a bit of TLC. Media attention has focussed on the ‘increasing numbers of adoptions’ message but the real aim should be  better processes for everyone involved, not just trying to increase numbers on any side of the equation.

In an ideal world, there’d be fewer adoptions because children would be cared for in their own family. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. So, in the event that a child is not able to be cared for in their own family, the next aim should be to make their journey to a permanent home as short and untraumatic as possible. It’s not about aiming solely to change the figures and stats around adoption but to:

  • improve the processes for approval of prospective adopters – with less variation in criteria between agencies
  • provide more resources for effective planning and decision making for children taken into care
  • improve the matching process and cut down delays in moving children to permanent placements
  • improve post-placement support through:
  1. better assessment of childrens needs at the time of placement in foster care or with their adoptive family
  2. improved access to support for foster carers and adoptive families
  3. matching support and resources to the child’s needs and not to their legal status (fostered or adopted)

By focussing on the processes and not just numbers you can improve the outcomes for children and families and surely that should be the aim.

Written by adoptresources

January 23, 2011 at 9:59 am

teleseminar debut…

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I’ve just finished my first teleseminar and, although not the slickest of presentations, I managed to negotiate technology and do an OK job! Have a listen in to the replay if you’re at the thinking about stage and want to know more… (the sound doesn’t start straight away, don’t adjust your screens!).

Next one tomorrow, on top tips for Christmas – hope to see you there…

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December 14, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Coming soon…

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…to a living room near you – a teleseminar on an adoption topic of your choice…

laptop and coffeeI recently discovered teleseminars and am a big fan. I like the fact that I can learn something from the comfort of my own living room, no childcare to sort out, just an hour of my time with a cup of tea. So, I’m hosting two free teleseminars in December: the first one is on 7th December and will answer lots of questions about the adoption process, the second one is on the 8th December and will focus on finding answers to some of the challenges post placement.

I’ll tweet and post details nearer the time. Let me know the questions you’d like answers to…

Written by adoptresources

November 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Adoption stories: a blogging carnival

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For National Adoption Week, I wanted to feature more than my perspective of adoption, so I tweeted and blogged an invitation for guest posts and links to blogs from others with a different experience of adoption. I have been amazed and flattered at how generously people have shared their stories. Some have made for quite emotional reading.

adult and child holding handsThere are blogs from adoptees, birth family, adopters at all stages in the process and families thinking about adoption, but the whole spectrum of adoption is by no means covered.

Jo and Greg tell their very different stories of adoption and reunion and for both, how adoption features in their adulthood. Adoption diary describes how one family have made the decision to adopt and start the process, and Blake describes factors they’ve taken into account in their adoption decisions. Tami talks about the difficulties of the in limbo stage of waiting for placement and Me, Him & Junior describe the unbelievable excitement of embarking on the introductions and meeting your child for the first time. QTandme gives a fab account of how to deal with some tactless comments from strangers and Judy writes an amazing blog about parenting, adoption and transracial families. 

Adoption is something that affects a huge number of people in some way. I was once told that 1 in 10 people are directly affected by adoption. Every experience is individual, for some it is postive, others negative and for others a mixture of the two. It is so hard to be representative of every situation but by blogging, writing and telling our stories we can hopefully build an understanding of the lifelong impact of adoption.

Thanks again to all the guest bloggers. If you’re reading this and would like to add your experience, please comment or email me.

If you’re on the lookout for more National Adoption Week blog collections  here’s some more links: BAAF blogs and how to laugh in the face of it all.

Written by adoptresources

November 5, 2010 at 1:58 am

National Adoption Week

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It’s National Adoption Week this week and this year’s theme is Adoption Champions. Whether you’re a fan of National something week or not, these weeks help to raise the profile of the highlighted topic, making it more newsworthy and likely to get noticed by more people than usual.

To mark National Adoption Week I am…

My theme for National Adoption Week? The same as every week – to raise awareness of the need for good support for families in adoption, at all stages in the process…

Let me know what you’re doing for National Adoption Week…

Be my guest…

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laptop on a beachI’ve added a new section to feature guest blogs. Posts can be related to any aspect of adoption, it could be something you’ve already featured on your own blog, it can be anonymous or not. The first guest blog is an amazing story of adoption from Greg. Let me know if you’ve got a story you’d like to share…

Written by adoptresources

October 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Support for Dads…

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people standing on the earth - 3d illustrationIn all aspects of life there can be differences in how women and men experience situations. The same is true for adoption, especially in relation to how we deal with behaviour and our roles in day to day routines, childcare, work and school. I was contacted recently by an adoptive Dad who has set up a website and forum to offer informal, peer support to other Dads who have adopted. I think this is a great idea and will be encouraging my ‘significant other’ to have a look and leave a post…

For any Dads reading this, have a look at  www.4dadz.co.uk and join in the discussion…

Written by adoptresources

October 19, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Facebook: friend or foe…

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social network laptopSocial media networks have opened up opportunities to connect with people anywhere in the world, making it easier to get in touch with long lost friends; keep in touch with family and friends and make new business and social connections. On the whole, the impact of social media is positive (you only need to look at my twitterstream to see that I’m a convert!) but there can be some negative or unwelcome intrusions.

Facebook in particular has opened up a network where birth families can trace and be traced by adopted relatives. Tracing in itself offers a chance at a better understanding of the circumstances of adoption and the possibility of building new relationships. However, it is best done with the right support, and any contact made with the permission of those being traced. The openness of social media takes away the sensitivity and understanding needed to make reunions as positive for all concerned.

When we were working our way through the adoption process, I read a book called A Good Likeness, all about an adult adoptee tracing his birth parents. Through this and other books, I could see that a lot of search and reunion is about understanding yourself, making sense of what adoption is for you and why it happened. This made it easier for me as an adoptive parent to understand it. I can also see in my children a need to connect with this parallel universe.

So I’m watching and listening to stories of facebook reunions and gleaning what I can from them. I don’t think the answer is to stop using facebook or other social networks of choice. Learning how to be safe online and putting the right supports in place for adoption search and reunion seems a sensible place to start.

So, right now, my aim is to keep online and offline lines of communication open, have conversations about keeping yourself safe online and to get to know facebook as well as I know twitter (uphill battle!!)…

Do you have any tips? Is this something you’ve had to deal with?

Book list:
A Good Likeness by Paul Arnott
Blue-Eyed Son: The Story of an Adoption by Nicky Campbell
Facing Up to Facebook: A Survival Guide for Adoptive Families  A guide on Facebook for adoptive families that covers important aspects of keeping safe online – published by BAAF

Written by adoptresources

October 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Adoption blog carnival…

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I came across the idea of a blog carnival on a few other blogging networks and decided that I’d like to host an Adoption Blog Carnival for National Adoption Week…

And what is a blogging carnival, I hear you ask. Well, it’s just a way of linking together different posts on one topic. You email me details of a post you’ve written in relation to adoption and I write a carnival post and include links to the posts selected for the carnival…

I’m hoping to get posts from all perspectives in adoption – adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent, prospective adopter, relative through adoption… and from all viewpoints-good/bad/indifferent…

If you’d like to contribute, email details of your post to fiona@adoptresources.co.uk by October 25th. You don’t have to write a post specifically for the carnival and it doesn’t have to be recent. If you’d like to submit something but don’t want to post it on your usual blog, email me the post and I can include it as a guest blog.

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Written by adoptresources

September 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm