Sunday 27 April 2014

TV times

At the risk of being accused of being curmudgeonly I have to confess that I've been struggling to rustle up the enthusiasm to watch the recent glut of adoption TV programmes.

My issue is not with the subject matter as I clearly approve of the concept of adoption for some children and adults it can often meet both parties needs. Though of late I question some of the received wisdom relating to contact issues and feel uncomfortable with the drive to universally reduce adopter approval times.

I could quibble with the programmes but generally find them to be fit for purpose being aimed at an audience with no or limited knowledge of adoption or the process of adoption.
From my perspective I have a good working knowledge of the system, I understand the complexity of the issues and have both professional and personal experience of adoption.

My frustration comes normally not from what is said and shown but what is not said or shown. With issues being either skimmed over or side stepped I find myself saying "but what about the matching panel, what about contact, what about post placement support, what about this what about that".

Consequently, the experience is frustrating.
But I appreciate that my perspective is one of many and to express my version of adoption would perhaps be off-putting or not as helpful or at worst dull watching..

Social media offers a redeeming quality to the experience being able to follow interesting conversation threads. Additionally, it is interesting to observe non adopter perspectives expressed through the relevant #'s.

I am pleased that adoption is being highlighted in the media though I wonder if this is just a reflection of what is in vogue. The government push the issue from a political perspective and any adoption story is  good news, who could object to adoption? But with 8,600 new foster carers needed for the 62,000 children in care there are other issues for vulnerable children. However, these issues are a little more challenging and children and young people in the looked after system are often marginalised, older, less photogenic, with issues around confidentiality more complex harder to make documentaries about.

Now I am sounding curmudgeonly, but if the hat fits?


  1. I too have found it difficult to summons up enthusiasm to watch, but mainly due to my disillusionment of the whole system over 7-8 years.

  2. I'm sorry to hear that.
    Many people have had their fingers burnt and feel let down, I still have hope in the workers but worry about the manipulation of the system to meet the cries of those who perhaps have a different agenda.
    Hang in.

  3. Yes, yes, yes, to your comment about foster carers. Not expecting to see any heart-warming documentaries on that subject any time soon though! I am not sorry to see adoption getting a raised profile in the media, though, and not surprised or particularly disappointed that some aspects are being glossed over. I understand that the recent report on adoption disruption suggested that a third of adopters report their experience as going well, a further third report highs and lows, and one third report significant difficulties/disruption. While this final third absolutely needs to be addressed, urgently and thoroughly with properly-researched and well-funded post-adoption support, I think every prospective adopter and interested party imagines that they will be in the first third, and no amount of reality TV would make a difference to that!

  4. Human nature is that anticipate bad things happening to others and not us. Our optimism and naivety has pulled and pushed us through many a dark corner.
    Hey ho. I might watch tonight, or at least follow on twitter.