Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wow! Sounds alot like Australia - What is going wrong?

'I'm hearing you all - but does our Governments? Not likely.  This article jumped out at me, it portrays Australia's situation to a 'T.'
Adoption challenges for children and carers. 
From the Guardian co.uk

What a refreshing change to read Anthony Douglas's article (There is no right to adopt, 23 December). I had begun to despair that the needs and the complexities of those very vulnerable children for whom adoption is the care plan would be ignored in the rush to speed up the adoption assessment process. Having managed an adoption team for several years, and now working in adoption support, I am increasingly aware of the issues facing adoptive parents – and the recognition that love alone and the wish to parent children is rarely enough to enable families to meet the needs of the children being placed for adoption.

Many children will have been affected by pre-natal alcohol and/or drugs or by significant neglect or abuse. We now know that their physical brain development is likely to have been affected by such trauma and therefore their parents will need even more resilience, creativity, parenting skills and support networks than those of us whose children were born to us – and that is why the assessment process must be one which is sensitive, thorough and effective. I agree that there should be no unnecessary delays – and would suggest that such delays are more likely due to poor management or lack of resources than to the adoption assessment framework – but it cannot be rushed. My hope is that Anthony Douglas's perceptive views, based on his working knowledge of the adoption process in its entirety as well as his personal experience, are heard in Whitehall.

Hilary F Thomas - Ulverston, Cumbria
• It has been good to see the spotlight on the rotten state of adoption in the UK (Adoption plan meets with open arms, 23 December). The fact that so many children are in effect further abused by a care system that clearly does not serve their need to have a permanent and loving family of their own should by now come as a surprise to no one.
Much has been made in the media of the prospective adoptive parents turned away or deterred by the UK process. Martin Narey talks of those who have "gone to extraordinary lengths" to adopt from abroad as a result. Indeed I am such an adopter myself. However, people do not only adopt from abroad as a last resort. I believe that when there are hundreds of thousands of children living in institutions without their own families, who will never be found families in their own countries, there is a strong justification, imperative even, for those who can adopt them to do so.
The Hague convention has been signed and ratified by the UK to oversee the proper and ethical adoption of these children. And yet we have one of the lowest rates of inter-country adoption – if not the lowest – in the western world. If we wish to serve the best interests of children the world over – and I don't see why British citizens should be any less compassionate than those in the US, Spain or France for example where intercountry adoption rates are significantly higher – then we need an adoption process that supports all forms of adoption – domestic or international.

Siobhan Flynn

Number of Adoptions slump to there lowest ever

It comes as no surprise that Australia's local adoption numbers are at an all time low. This can be viewed both as a positive and negative. A positive outcome that mothers are keeping their babies or choosing to have family members adopt them, and obviously negative that perhaps there is just not enough education for those looking for options when they find themselves in a position where they can't or don't want to keep their babies. There is a definate negative to say the least with regard to the decrease in inter-country adoptions, and area that needs such an overhaul and review - a job for our Government to get off their back-sides, take immediate action and make this a priority. Read below an extract from The Australian.

ADOPTION continues to fall out of favour in Australia, with just 384 recorded in 2010-11 -- the lowest on record.
The decline is a result of changing conditions in countries that previously provided inter-country adoptions, such as South Korea, along with a fall in the number of local children considered in need of adoption, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found.
In a report titled Adoptions Australia 2010-11, released yesterday, the AIHW noted that more than half the adoptions in the year were from overseas, and most of the local adoptions were of known children, where there was a pre-existing relationship with a step-parent or carer.

Just 49 Australian-born children outside the known category were adopted in the 2010-11 year, the institute found.
The 384 adoptions were down 7 per cent on the previous year, and from 1142 in 1990-91, showing significant long-term decline, the report says. ...Inter-country adoptions have fluctuated since the early 1990s, but are down 45 per cent since 1990-91 and have recorded their sixth straight year of decline.
"The long-term fall in numbers can in part be attributed to a decline in the number of Australian children considered to require adoption," said AIHW spokesman Brent Diverty.
This reflected legislative and social changes that meant children were less likely to be taken from their parents, he said.
The adoption picture was more fractured for inter-country adoptions. Asia accounted for about 80 per cent of adoptions from overseas, the three most common countries being China, The Philippines and Taiwan.
"For the first time in more than two decades, South Korea was not among the four most common countries of origin," the report says.
by: Stephen Lunn, social affairs writer From:
The Australian December 14, 2011