Time for Cameron and Loughton to pay more than lip service to adoptionPosted by Francesca on May 12, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments
Yesterday I had an uplifting and inspirational chat with the one and only Bruce Oldfield, who has graciously been supporting my work on adoption. While we talked about the need for change, David Cameron was giving his Queen’s speech. Like many others I didn’t expect very much at all and I think we got even less. The London Independent newspaper put it perfectly: “Lots of style but very little substance.”
Sadly this is pretty much how governments have conducted themselves in dealing with pressing issues in both the adoption process and the care system which is a part of it. Sure there has been much murmuring from Michael Gove and Tim Loughton about making ‘big changes’ to the process. The former is himself adopted so I guess I’d hoped for more action but instead, we just get more pronouncements.
So I sit here looking at the same disturbing facts over and over. Black and Asian children find it hard to be adopted into a permanent, stable home. The numbers of children going into care are also increasing - on average around 1000 each month. Meanwhile there are prospective parents coming forward, many of them ready to jump through the countless hoops that will be put before them. And we have a society that embraces alternative concepts of creating a family, one where even surrogacy is becoming more accepted. So why is adoption so complicated, so bureaucratic, so uncaring and unaware of the people it affects the most? Why isn’t it a leaner, more transparent process that gives hope instead of discouraging those who want to make it work?
The reality is that in nearly four years the government hasn’t even attempted to alter the the forms on the Home Study questionnaire to ask if parents would consider a child of a different race.
You know, I receive calls each day from people desperate to open their hearts to a child who needs a loving home. These people tell me they have been turned down as adoptive parents due to race. I find that even more troubling in a country that spends a fortune on ensuring ‘diversity’ in its workplaces. The number of children adopted last year was the lowest in ten years and England lags behind any other so called ‘developed’ country when it comes to the way it handles the children left to languish in care. Their lives are destroyed before they have a chance to begin. And still the government sits there, intellectually and morally constipated uttering passive words. Non-announcements are not only depressing, they are insulting to the children and those of us who care about making life better for them.