Thursday 3 December 2020

Adoption, Soundbites and Mount Stupid

In a world of soundbites and pithy slogans some topics just don't fit, I think that has put me out of steps with recent adoption recruitment drives. The tension between my desire to unpick complicated issues within a changing social context and the sector's need to keep the machine running is at odds. Hey ho, what's to do?

It's not uncommon for some poor unsuspecting soul to sidle up to me on some social media platform and PM me with a 'I know someone who's thinking of adopting, would you chat to them'. Well, there's a tricky question, of course never one miss an opportunity for an audience I say 'yes' but with a caveat that I won't be held responsible for the outcome.  

Dunning-Kruger Effect
Dunning-Kruger Effect - See 'Mount Stupid'

20 years ago, even 15 or 10 years ago my conversation with then would have been a resounding, fist pumping, cheerleading: 

   'Go for it, you've got this!' 

But I've read a lot of books, listened to a lot of voices and been down a few paths since then. Actually, been down a lot of paths and lived with six children who have traversed the care and adoption system in all it's widescreen technicolour glory.  So, in my mind it just isn't that simple anymore and if you want me to tell you how un simple it is it may take some time. Simple one line answers do everyone a disservice at best and are harmful at worst. 

It's clear that the current government are sold on adoption from an ideological perspective and so far have invested in that. That's good, but as always the worry is that it is frequently focused on the adopter's journey to placement with limited focus outside of that journey or other participant's journeys. That doesn't sit well anymore. 

I do talk to the poor soul set before me trying to make sense of my thoughts, experiences and freeform ramblings.  Often they just want the simple answers and I'm not willing to give them. 

Please don't think that me saying its complicated means I'm against adoption as that's not true but the answer isn't simple and in my mind no longer a binary one.

Not a hugely satisfying post I'm afraid but that's that. Perhaps I'll air it out in a podcast. 
Stay well, enjoy Christmas and may all your festive hope come true.

PS Here's some homework, google the Dunning-Kruger effect and mount stupid.