I believe in adoption, the majority of my adult life has been significantly influenced by my decision to adopt. I’ve actively promoted adoption, through TV, documentaries, radio and the press. I’ve contributed at prospective adopter preparation courses and spoke at length to strangers, friends and acquaintances about the virtues and challenges of adoption. I have a blog and my mam reads it.
But, I have questions.
I see that the landscape of adoption has changed the nature of the vast majority of the 28,000 children adopted in 1968 are very different to the 5,050 adopted in 2013/14.
The adopters that step forward are very different now to those who made the journey 45 years ago.
Society, law and culture have shifted almost beyond recognition.
Research has rendered received wisdom and best practice as defunct, detrimental and dogmatic.
Policies and systems that seem to be trying to catch up with this changing landscape.
Is this week the right week to be asking questions?
I have to say yes, this is the week to raise the difficult questions.
If the community of adopters and adoptees can’t ask these questions then who can?
If we don’t ask them now then when will people listen?
Approved and pre placement adopters are nervous of the questions they ask for they have everything to lose. They accept injustice, incompetence and delay because they have no choice. They do not have the power.
Can the adoptees ask the difficult questions? No. They have no power.
The questions that birth families and parents ask are often discounted and marked as invalid. After all, they don't deserve to ask questions. They have no power.
Post order adopters sometimes keep our heads down, we need access to services, so we are careful, # are our cloak. We do what we can.
So, those who can speak have a duty and responsibility to ask difficult questions, challenge accepted wisdom and policy.
We are the experts of this experience so we must speak.
This does not mean we are against adoption.
There are voices, #flipthescript, The Open Nest, Adoption UK & individuals like Sally Donovan are asking hard questions, raising adoption's profile and we should throw our collective weight behind them.