Adoption Passport and Mr Timpson’s timid approach to a tragic situationPosted by Francesca on May 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments
In recent days the UK Government launched yet another new adoption initiative. Intriguingly called an adoption passport, it’s a new guide for would-be adopters that will supposedly set out the support available for those who wish to adopt. Why are we not excited? Well, because it just sounds like another attempt to tip-toe around real change. While we at ABW agree on the need to encourage more parents to form families with some of the thousands of children in care, we cannot help but see this latest move as lip service. The cold, hard fact is there is pretty much no support for post-adopters. So forgive us for wondering what this passport is going to contain, since one of the reasons for families not going through with the adoption process is the complete lack of support. It’s badly needed too. Children in care often come from neglect and abuse so it’s difficult for them to trust others and integrate. Add that to the pressure on the adoptive parent and you have all the ingredients for an adoption breakdown, which is what happens despite the best intentions.
A crisis situation like the one affecting about 70,000 children in this country necessitates way more than a guideline here and a passport there. It requires a serious overhaul of a system that is inefficient, out of date and fundamentally not developed with the child’s interest in mind. The whole process needs confidence in it and around it and right now, a flimsy passport isn’t going to do this.
Children’s Minister Edward Timpson said: “For too long children have been left waiting – in many cases over two years – for the stable, loving homes whilst prospective adopters have been dissuaded from offering those children the security they need.” The issue is, Mr Timpson, the passport does not even attempt to address the fact that children wait too long. To do so would require tackling the enormous weight of overly bureaucratic processes, the inefficiencies of the Family Courts and the lack of consistency between them and social services.
Most importantly, the Government has completely ignored the need for a regulator which would ensure a smoother process for children who languish in care for years. Until the Government does not seriously take responsibility to address this, we will not see the step change we have been promised for years now. Meanwhile we continue wasting time and lives. But then again Mr Timpson hasn’t even got time to meet with me, so what do I expect.