Adoption – what was your experience? Good? Bad?

I can now write about the latest film I’ve produced for ITV Wales looking at adoption and special guardianship – called Forever Families.

Adoption is something you tend not to think about if you are a secure family unit – but the truth is that there are so many children out there who need help. But adoption has changed dramatically over the years and now we are in a situation where there are not enough people coming forward to adopt children. Note the use of that word. Adoption is rarely about babies now. It’s more likely to be about children and often siblings.

Why? Well, it seems from my research that it’s due to the fact that social services departments and the court system will give birth parents every possible chance to sort out their lives should their children be taken into care. This means that many children can be with foster carers for quite a long time before a final decision is made about their futures ie. should they be adopted? It’s a matter of debate about whether or not that’s a good thing.

Adoption - it ain't what it used to be.....

One reason, it’s suggested, for adoption not being as popular is the fact that the process takes a long time. A very, very long time. Adoptive parents have to go through a long assessment process, and if anything bad happens in their lives during that assessment period that can mean further delays. The families I interviewed both felt that delays were more about inefficiency and possible lack of resources, than about the child‘s welfare. However, one has only to think of Baby P to know that being careful can save lives.

I’d be really interested to hear any of your stories about adoption. Were you adopted? How has it affected your life? Have you tried to adopt and lost heart in the process? The Welsh Government is holding an inquiry into this issue and will be considering how to change the system by the end of 2012. It could lead the way when it comes to change….watch this space, I feel a follow-up coming ¬†on…..



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