Two very different stories took my attention yesterday. Firstly was the story published in the Daily Mail of a couple who had their baby taken by social services after they moved to France, this followed the removal of children from a previous relationship.
Daily Mail: British couple who moved to France to start new family have baby seized by social workers who tracked them from Norfolk
I couldn't possibly say whether social services were justified in any of their actions because not enough information is available to us as readers, we have to take what is told to us at face value, read between the lines that are carefully fed to us and form an opinion. Of course social services can't have a right to reply as they would be breaching confidentiality but here it is, another story of supposed baby-snatching by social services and an expectation of the general public to be up in arms over it. Well I am sorry, I think that more care should be taken before these stories are published. People have a very dim view of social services because every story published is a horror story, they sell papers, this to me sounds like one story too far, a desperate mother selling her story to win some hearts and a newspaper that loves sensationalist headlines. I'm not saying social services are always right but they certainly aren't always wrong.
The second story I read was by the BBC this touches me personally because of the delays we experienced with both of our adoptions but particularly our first adoption of Girl:
Ofsted: Adoption wait 'awfully long'
It doesn't really explain the implications of staying in foster care for longer than necessary but for us with Girl it had a massive impact, where she could have been moved on at about 13 months we had to wait almost a year until just before her second birthday, coming up to her terrible twos and with significant delays in speech was just to traumatic. I do however to a degree understand the need to check and re-check, taking on a child with special needs is not a decision to be taken lughtly, so many adoptions break down and that can have a much bigger impact on a child than having to stay in foster care for an extra few months.
I personally feel very strongly that more emphasis needs to be placed on post adoption support and family support. In turn if this was put in place the whole adoption process could justifiably be shortened a little.
As a new adopter you feel that it is a relief when social worker visits are over but actually in hindsight I wish we had been given more support, even when we felt we didn't need it.