Forced adoption

Published: 29.05.15

The issue of `forced adoption’ is an incredibly emotive and difficult subject.
Forced adoption

At Adoption UK we support thousands of caring and motivated individuals who are ready to provide a loving and supportive home for children who cannot live with their birth parents.  We know from our own experiences and those of our members that if a child’s welfare is truly at the centre of decisions made about their future then adoption is an important option to be considered early on in child welfare proceedings.

Recent stories in the press about forced adoption are sensational and one-sided.  They create an impression that adoption is a last resort or that children are being inappropriately `snatched’ from their birth parents by the courts and given to `desperate adopters’. 

Adoption UK chief executive, Hugh Thornbery said: “The system is not perfect and with anything involving human judgement, there are some examples where the professionals don’t always get it quite right.  Human error exists in all walks of life. 

However, we believe that in many cases adoption is the chance to permanently break a cycle of neglect and abuse and to give a child a second chance at fulfilling their potential with the support of a loving family.”

Mr Thornbery added: “We have noticed that Special guardianship orders are on the rise as courts look to place children within their extended birth family.  In some cases this works and in others it doesn’t and prolongs the cycle of chaos for the child.”

Adoption UK uses the powerful voices and experiences of its members to provide real life examples to Government and the wider public on what it is like to adopt a child.  Those who have adopted know that it is not the end of the road but just the beginning of a new one for that child and the adoptive family.   It is often not an easy road as a large percentage of children have experienced trauma and neglect.  We see from the Adoption Leadership Board figures that while the number of children taken into care is on the rise, adoption orders are in freefall.

In summary Mr Thornbery said: “We hope with the evidence we can provide, and the voices of our members behind us, we can show government that some re-balancing in the system needs to take place.  Vulnerable children depend on the right decisions being taken at the right time as their welfare and safety should be at the forefront of all decisions made about their future family arrangements.”