Today the royal baby is apparently stirring. He or she has already been showered with speculation and interest. Not just the name but the identity of the godparents, role of William’s mother in law, clothing, schooling, parenting, nannying and much more is effectively stifling most other news this Monday morning.
In Worcester a few days ago a doorbell rang. The occupants of the house opened it to find a newborn baby, wrapped in a hessian bag. The baby, biblically named Joseph, is doing well say the nurses. The mother is nowhere to be seen and her state can only be guessed at. Those who know about this type of thing say it’s possible she was concealing the pregnancy but this is speculation. There is a lot of speculation about babies right now, not all of it joyous.
Two infants, to be born days apart in the uncustomary heat of an English summer. While Kate and William seem delightfully grounded, it can be safely said this baby will have all its needs met and more. Cared for around the clock, doted on, protected, loved and given the best that money and social status can buy, he or she will have every opportunity. This is not carping, it is simply fact. And what of ‘Joseph?’ Though only a few days old, his opportunities in life are already closing. If his mother is found, authorities will have to determine if she can, wants to or is able to look after her baby. If she cannot, then Joseph will go into care. At that moment his life has already diminished. Joseph will join over 60,000 children in the UK in care, many who have and will spend their whole lives there. Local authorities and courts will produce a mass of paperwork and have endless discussions purporting to be about Joseph’s welfare.
The care system as it stands in the UK is unable to care for the kids it is supposed to protect. Born without any knowledge of the world and no cares, just like William and Kate’s baby, Joseph’s life will take a very different trajectory. The inept bureaucracy of the system will ensure that he is shunted between foster families, standing little chance of bonding with anyone. If he does find a foster family who love him, the authorities will probably move him. He may begin to exhibit difficult behaviour as a toddler as he wonders if anyone loves him or cares about. He is likely to be a slower learner (even though he was probably not born that way), potentially disruptive at school and may engage in anti social activities.
His chances of youth crime, drugs and being a runaway are high, far too high. His chances of being adopted by a loving family are low. Not because there are no adoptive parents but because the system makes it very hard for people to adopt. And so while Joseph languishes in care, developing emotional and physical problems, his potential family will attempt to navigate the councils and authorities and probably find it too difficult. If they do manage to adopt they will be given zero support. One day when Kate Middleton is doing her charity work, she might visit him, in prison or if he’s lucky, in care. She’ll tell everyone that she has a little boy or girl too and all children should be loved and looked after. They should. But they aren’t.