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Don't Do It!


Adopter
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I am an adoptive parent and have been lucky that my children have not needed intensive therapy (as yet!) for the emotional damage done to them by their early years experience. The Isle of Man Adoption Service have been very good with their introduction and training and preparation work and post adoption support.

 

Mr Wright, I do believe the figure of 30% of all adoptions breaking down is actually correct. The anecdotal reports I have read (from Adoption UK) is that one third of all adoptions breakdown, one third suffer real difficulties (probably similar to original poster) and one third are 'okay' and considered successful, but not without issues inherent in adopting children. The difficulty of course is that very few local authorities provide statistics on disrupted adoptions and are obviously keen to emphasise the positives rather than the negatives.

 

If the Original Poster thinks that the IOM is any different or, heaven forbid, any worse that the UK then clearly they are not a member of the forums I am that show that the lack of social services to step up and provide the necessary (expensive) therapy that a lot of children in care require. Looked after children are some of the most prioritised children within the social services spectrum, what they lack is a loving and stable family. So enter adoptive parents providing the love and stability and as soon as the adoption order is granted, the pre-existing problems of the children are apparently removed and social services are no longer involved, the slate is wiped clean and any further therapy, help or assistance has to be requested and agreed. However, one should never doubt the power of a loving and stable family to these children, and the basic message of the original message that my children would be better off where they were or in care is offensive to my family. I hope the original post gets the help and assistance they require for their children/child but letting children 'rot' in their abusive families or 'stagnate' in their foster carers is not what is best for the children.

Edited by Robinson
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Robinson the 30% is for older children, with pre existing problems, and includes placements which break down before adoption actually takes place, which actually exceed the number of post adoption failures

 

The figures I have given are correct, taken from the Times and official statistics and reflect the figures over the whole post adoption spectrum. Sadly the adoption rate for older children is very low, less thand 15% of the annual total.

 

I agree that there appears to be a perception that adoption is a cure all in some social services, but the sort of parents who get cleared to adopt are generally the ones local authority social services would expect to get on and cope with their natural children and would not interfere

 

So I repeat, don't be put off, go find out about adoption, and help a child

 

The real tragedy is that UK adoptions are down from 25,000 annually in the early 1970's to less than 5,000 now

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Forgive me if I am being naive but when someone makes the decision to adopt a child, aren't they making a full emotional commitment to that child no matter what their past and future holds??

 

Spangle, of course they are. It would be naive however to make the assumption that such a commitment is the answer to the problem. Many of these children have considerable emotional difficulties, as a result of their earlier experiences. Attachment disorders, where they have problems making meaningful connections with others, can affect them throughout their entire lives. If, as a society, we believe that adoption is the best option for these kids, then surely we need to try to get the best outcomes for them? There's plenty of evidence that appropriate support makes for better outcomes for all concerned. Those services are not being provided by the department that won't let itself be externally audited and benchmarked because according to their Minister they aren't ready for it yet.

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The reason I asked about Looked After Children is that there are automatically extra safeguards put in place at school if they are, whether or not they seem to be having problems at that time. A little safety net in case anything does come about.

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The reason I asked about Looked After Children is that there are automatically extra safeguards put in place at school if they are, whether or not they seem to be having problems at that time. A little safety net in case anything does come about.

 

I am pretty sure this is not the case. If, for example, someone who has adopted in the UK comes to the island. unless they choose to tell people here, no-one would be aware of the situation. Of course, this is entirely proper, in my view.

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Adoter I fully agree with your analysis, but not your conclusion, ie warning people not to adopt.

 

That is because you are only viewing the situation from one side. Consider the utiliterian approach - ie doing the most good for the most people - or conversely doing this least harm. Let us imagine the situation where there is an adopted child, 2 adoptive parents, and 2 other children in the family (whether or not they are adopted or natural). So, involved in this scenario there are a total of 5 people. All of these five will suffer damage as a result of the breakdown. Parents may develop stress related illness, be unable to work, or more commonly familial breakdown may result. If that happens 5 peoples lives are mangled not one. Obviously all this can happen with a birth child but there's no doubt it is much more common with adopted kids. So, the adopted child is back to square one, and 4 others have been damaged. Ah, but the need of the child should be paramount comes the cry! Yes, but which of the three in that family should be paramount, I wonder? You have seen the damage inflicted upon children by marital breakdown, parental ill health etc.

 

So, when you adopt you are taking a risk, that you will potentially, jeopardise your own wellbeing and that of other family members, to give a child a better start in life. Now, as adopters, that is a risk you take. However, you take that risk in the belief that there is appropriate support for you and the other family members. That support appears unavailable here. So, you aren't just walking a tightrope - you are doing so without the net that you were led to believe was there, and the potential result is not that one person falls but five - including the two other children.

 

It is for that reason that I still say the Isle of Man is not well placed for adoptive families, and while it is plainly up to individuals to make their own choices, it is better that they do so in an informed manner. You feel these comments reduce life chances for some children, if that is so, it is unfortunate - but equally it may maintain life chances for children in families who would otherwise be tested to destruction.

 

The scenario I depict above is NOT a description of our situation, or outcome (thankfully) but the latter is no thanks to Social Services.

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