Over the past two years I have been to Internet adoption sites almost daily. Adoption related forums give great insight to how adoption effects people.
It soon became clear that laws and issues surrounding adoption differ from country to country.
One thing that surprised me was how the UK was perceived. The majority believing that the UK has no adoption problems. Well, I know from where I'm sitting there is a problem or three!
I decided to take a trip around the adoption web world with foreign eyes.
It didn't take me long to understand why the UK could be seen by some as a country that had got 'IT' right.
What has taken place in the UK is a rather clever political decoy tactic.
In plain English, a sneaky, devious, corrupt way of getting what they want just by a different method..
Looking over all the discussion forums, when it comes to the UK, the majority of disgruntled adoptees who post are pre 1975 adoptees.
The reason for this is simple. When adoptees where granted access to birth records in 1976 the law differed for anyone adopted prior to 1975.
Instead of automatic access to records the pre 75 adoptees could only have access to records after counselling and through a social worker.
The information we received was decided by the social worker. Many adoptees found that their records had either been 'misplaced' or so much had been blanked out that they were not worth having.
From 1976 the access to records meant adoptions and procedures had to be more concise (wouldn't want anyone thinking something untoward had happened).
This also meant for the adoptees from 1976 onwards they didn't have the problem of finding their identity (on paper), so no grumbling on forum boards.
In the late 70's Politics seemed to turn it's attention to our children's homes. They closed all the larger homes and replaced them with much smaller ones. These homes also became home to 'problem' kids. It wasn't long before most of the 'children's homes' became 'young offenders' homes.
It is strange to look back at those days because I didn't even notice it.
We didn't have any 'children's homes'. Lumping all the kids together in young offenders allowed the politicians to drive attention to the rise in kids wayward behaviour and away from the foster and adoption mess they had previously created.
The government tactics of new policies for dealing with young offenders worked for good while.
An excellent job was being done with our young. Unfortunately (for them) the children of the eighties started to emerge as adults.
As adults they started to speak of the abuse that went on in a lot of the so called 'homes'.
They needed another ploy to deflect from the rising number of ex-care kids who had obviously been damaged by the "care" system.
Deflect from the damage they could not but going back to good old fashioned policies of morality without the public opinion they could. So the birth of Closed Family Courts! Adoptions could get back on track with targets and incentives.
Moral policing of families could be enforced and the best part, silence of the objectors.
If the UK appears to have go 'IT' right with our kids, that is exactly what it is 'appearance'.
Our adoption rate is rising.
In 1995 950 adoptions took place involving children under one year of age in 2006 that number rose to 2,120. 3,700 adoptions took place in the UK in 2006. All these adoptions involved children who had been placed in care.
John Hemming MP, has all the figures.
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