'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.