Thursday, October 8, 2015

Why Can't Adoption Be Reversed?

Again in the Daily Mail there is a story of a couple wrongly accused of abusing their baby. (Here is the last one I wrote about.) This time the baby was adopted while the case was still in progress. By the time the couple were cleared (the baby had rickets and possibly a blood disorder) the adoption was official and there is almost zero chance that they will get their child, now three years old, back.

You can read the story here.

Of course the child should never have been adopted while the case was still open. I wonder if the adoptive parents knew that the case was not finished? Shouldn't they have been warned before the adoption was finalized? Big mistakes were made but it's the attitude going forward that I don't understand.

The precident is that once the child has settled with its new family it would be too traumatic to uproot him/her again and return him/her to the birth parents. So the child is brought up by others because the authorities feel that this is best for the child.

They talk about attachment issues which can be very real and life changing. I'm sure some children might suffer long term attachment issues but why assume that this is probable for all children? Parents die and the children are brought up by other adults without attachment issues. During the war children were sent away for years and then returned afterwards. Many suffered from this but many got over it with no lasting effects. It does happen that young children change parents without attachment issues so why not consider some of the disadvantages of not returning the child to his parents?

Many adopted children (not all by any means) grow up with identity issues. Why not consider this? At the very least, most adopted children (not all) want to know the circumstances of their birth and adoption, and who their birth parents are. All these children are going to have to deal with the fact that they were removed from their birth parents for no good reason.

I feel desperately sorry for the adoptive parents as they are going to have to deal with the emotional fallout from this either sooner or later. Maybe it would be better for them if they dealt with it now while the boy is still only 3 years old. Let a wrong be put right, and allow everyone to heal. The alternative might be an angry 18 year old who doesn't want to forgive them.

I don't have the correct answer. There are no guarantees that either route will produce a happy ending, My concern is that there is a legal precident of never reversing an adoprion that rules out any real consideration for the people involved, including the child. How can a one-size-fits-all policy possibly be applied to children and parents in these cases? Where is the discussion about the possible benefits to the child of returning him to his parents?

It feels like they don't want to open a Pandora's box of what might happen if adoptions could be reversed under special circumstances. I don't for one minute think this is entirely about what is best for the child.


19 comments:

  1. I hadn't seen that particular article, but I agree with everything that you say: this case seems to have been handled badly from the start, and the fallout in the future is likely to affect both families and the child too, it's heartbreaking :(

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  2. Oh gosh, that's just heartbreaking... Apparently rickets is becoming more and more common in the UK, it's something that you would think social workers would be aware of... I hope you are OK, and things are improving re. your recent comment on my blog. Apologies for not being around much to comment at the moment, hopefully that will improve once I have popped! :)

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    1. I look for your announcement every day. Looking forward to hearing good news. xx

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  3. Oh my word how very sad. How can they take a child away from its parents because of a mistake. It is horrifying and too scary for words. Mich x

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  4. This is such a tough one and the answer will never be simple for there is much we, as the reader, does not know about this case. I have questions about the ongoing medical conditions and the bruising. That this is a terrible situation for both the birth and adoptive parents though is beyond argument. This is a judicial cock up. The child should not have been placed for adoption with an open legal case ongoing but it seems the Social Services dept and the courts were given information that led them to believe this child was in danger. I suffer from an extreme vitamin D deficiency and am on life long medication for that now.nits taken me years to get that diagnosis. It effects my energy a huge amount and most doctors do not test for it routinely. I was lucky to be diagnosed.

    The best interests of the child for the future are unclear. We do not know how much trauma this child has already experienced in being taken from birth parents and placed in foster care and then moved again to the adoptive home. The child may well be irreparably traumatised if moved again and have to trust yet again that the carers will not be taken away again. Because so much happened at a pre-verbal stage the child may not be able to articulate their feelings of anxiety and anger. The birth parents may well have a child returned to them who is unable to attach to them which could compound the situation for all further. Services aren't really geared up to treat attachment disorders still. Our CAMHS services a next to useless. Very specialised parenting is then required. It's not a picnic, believe me, I know.

    As an adoptive parent I cannot even contemplate now giving back my two children yet any case that overturns an adoptive ruling will open a floodgate of birth parents seeking to overturn adoption orders and destabilise an all ready currently fragile addition system in the UK. During the war psychiatrists didn't know much about attachment trauma so people had to get on with it. That doesn't mean they were unaffected. There is no perfect ending to this case but i am very sad and angry at how easily people just dismiss the adoptive parents and say they should give the child back. They have loved that child for three years. Can you imagine giving up a child you have loved legitimately for that period of time? Like for the birth parents that isn't something you ever get over. You don't just adopt another child and it's all ok again. I've lost 10 babies. If I had to give back my adoptive children as well I think it would be the end of me. I personally will watch the outcome of this case with trepidation. I hope that all concerned can put the child's interests first and not just pacify a media circus. It's a terrible situation that I couldn't give a verdict on because I feel for all parties involved. Xxx

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    1. I value your input Gem and I was actually thinking of you as I wrote this. I also don't know what is best for this particular boy. My point is that they are not willing to even consider that returning him to his birth parents could be best for him. And I totally get it how it would open a Pandora's box of problems that could overwhelm the system entirely. I definitely don't dismiss the adoptive parents - I am sure at this stage, that their loss would be the same as that of the birth parents. Tragically one couple has to be devastated, there is no mutually beneficial solution. Thank you for commenting. xxx

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  5. This is such a very sad case, and sadly there are more like it. How to solve it? I can definitely feel for both sets of parents. But for the birth parents to have their child wrongly taken from them??? That's beyond even contemplation for me. As for the child? How difficult it might be to remove him from his adoptive family now? Yet it seems wrong not to also. Such a very difficult case..... xx

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    1. Some of the problem is that there is no right answer that makes it all ok for everyone and we have no way to know how a decision today will affect the child in the future.

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  6. I wonder is this the same case I saw in a documentary on BBC1 a couple of years ago. There were about 3 couples with the same issue in that documentary and I think one mother had moved to Spain, so as to keep her baby. The couple I am thinking of, one parent was white and the other Asian. The show even showed them having their last meeting with him, at which Grandparents attended. I think it was only 1, or 2 hours, even though it was the LAST time they would see him. The programme proved that the fractures were due to vitamin D or something like that and not abuse of any kind. The TV show alarmed me and I never got it out of my head. I must scroll up now and see if this is about those very same couples or one of them. Miscarriages of justice routinely happen as Family Courts are secret and the Press are not allowed to expose what goes on. To process the Adoption with the case ongoing is just unthinkable, but I can imagine why it happened. There is a 45 min doc on You Tube (I think it is called Exposure) which explains where this rushed adoption ethos comes from. Part of it is Michael Gove's fault I think. Good on you for writing about it. More people would be alarmed if more people knew what goes on. x

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  7. This was the TV show I watched a couple of years ago:
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/review-panorama-i-want-my-baby-back/article/365899
    Don't know if you can find it on you tube x

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    1. This is the Exposure one I referred to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va1N9r2Vieg but the BBC Panarama one that had the fractures on which I think turned out to be rickets can probably be found too. Still haven't clicked your link to see if your linked to article is about one of the couples that were featured on there. Must do that now x

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  8. Goodness, this is such a difficult one. I don 't think there is a right answer really - so many factors to consider. How sad for all involved though - my heart breaks for the birth parents, such trauma.

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    1. And no crystal ball to know how a decision now will affect the children in the future.

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  9. Have just been reading something about a speeding up of the adoption process. These cases ate going to become more and more common.

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    1. And on the other had we complain when the adoption process takes so long and children have to wait up to 2 years longer to be placed in their permenant families. I think the problem here was that it was in the middle of an unresolved court case.

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