Friday 5 September 2014

The 'F' word.

Recently I’ve noticed the increased used of the term ‘Forced’ adoption. I can’t tell if becoming more aware of it or it is a term that is sliding increasingly into popular use.
If I’m honest the term strikes a chill in my heart. In fact I’ve not been able to bring myself to read an article in this months Professional Social Work magazine with ‘forced adoption’ in the headline.

I have to ask myself what am I afraid of?

I guess the term conjures up the worst of images, children snatched from crying mothers by heartless autocratic Social Workers and given to adopters, oblivious and irrespective of the devastation left behind. Tragic historical cases that surface again and again, shaming the authorities responsible.
When the term is used for contemporary that's when my blood turns cold. 

Though I’m young in my Social Work career I’ve seen enough to know injustices happen, cases slip, Social Workers drop the ball, lies are told and courts are not always places of justice. It seems that the media would sometimes have us believe that there are more injustice than not. However, I know that is not the case but one unjust 'forced' adoption is enough. 

The voices of the adopters are never heard in the in the articles or programmes. But I can’t help but think of them.
As adopters the unwritten or unspoken contract that we enter into is that this is in the best interests of the child or children we call ours. 
That everything was done to ensure that the children could not remain with their family of origin. Every stone turned every door pushed and every corner looked into

We have to believe that.

For my children I know their story and journey and I rest assured that we were the best route possible for them but I can't help but feel a chill when I hear the F word.


  1. I must admit that this was not a term I had heard of, though now I'll likely see it everywhere as well. Thanks for the informational post!

  2. I hope I've not given you nightmares.

  3. Great post as always. I feel in our case removal was right decision but definitely felt 'forced' to Jazz's mum and dad. Perhaps the most forced bit in some cases is the severing of all contact?

  4. Thank you.
    I guess for birth families the vast majority would consider it forced. Even for those who don't contest I would imagine they feel coerced.

  5. I would imagine that pretty much every adoption in the UK at present could be considered 'forced' in that there are incredibly few cases where children are relinquished. If you don't relinquish your child voluntarily, what can it be except 'forced'? This is why I don't personally like the term. It's so loaded.

  6. You're right, it is a blunt term that covers myriad of stories and circumstances. I'm sure as noted that perspective is a big influence on the use of the term.