Friday 7 November 2014

National Adoption Week: Time machine

So after all the shouting and balling NAW14 is almost over and I'm sure I speak for many when I say it feels like it's been a long week. 

Challenging images and interviews on daytime and morning TV bring conflicting emotions as I consider the hopes of prospective adopters and the needs of children. Naturally I compare this to the stories that I hear in my day job and are piped into my consciousness through Twitter, blogs and Facebook. Good, bad, mundane stories of lives lived in parallel to the oblivious world around us 51 weeks a year then thrust into the spotlight for a week in November.

NAW is a good news story the politicians, of all sides,  and the media love adoption, it's a golden subject that reflects well on those who discuss it. But though the challenges of contemporary adoption are explained and laid bare I fear that the man and woman on the street hold fast to the orphan Annie fairytale*. 

I am confident that good comes of it and if one child is found a loving home then it is more than worth it.

So, tomorrow when the brouhaha is over I'll wake up, dust myself off and get on with my life slipping back into anonymity. 

However, I can't help but consider the future, how will the adoption landscape shift over the next year and the next 10, 20, 30 years. 

Practice that we consider as normal will be examined with the benefit of hindsight. 

What will be the long term implications of the recent rulings in relation to Placement orders and subsequent reductions in their number?

What will be the impact of the much publicised adoptions support fund?

Thinking further ahead will we look back with horror and shame as we do when we consider the circumstances, practice and societies seeming indifference of the 50's and 60's?  

Reading the BASW magazine this month the issue of Human Rights and adoption was raised with the reality that we are in a minority of nations that still place children for adoption without the consent of the parents. What will be the implications for the future?

Will we be aghast at the expectations placed on adopters in light of the experiences and needs of the children they parented?

Will there be any adoption re union programmes looking back through the years?

Will adoption be seen as a side issue compared to the number of children in care that need stable and secure long term homes?

Ifs and buts.

I'm not sure where we'll be and if we'll be seen as villains, victims or saviours.

I'm pretty sure I'll still be dad.

*In my retirement I intend to write my own musical "Annie: the Truth", with swearing, singing and fighting.


  1. Yes I'm thankful that NAW is over too and life will go on as normal. I know that loving homes are need for children but the glossing has annoyed me more than ever this year.

    Thanks for sharing on #WASO

    1. I think I found this year hard, not sure why, but it's a relief that it's over.
      As always thanks for the comment.

  2. I came across your blog recently and I want to thank you. As the Mum to a 5 year old who came to us through adoption, you have exactly the blog I would love to have if I had even an ounce of writing ability. You write so beautifully and sum up many of the things I struggle to articulate. Your blog calms me and amuses we when we're not having a good day, and more than anything you 'get it'.

  3. What a kind comment, presuming you're not my mam. I was hoping to just reflect how I felt and it seems to have struck a chord.
    Thank you for commenting.