Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Uk to open doors to transracial adoption

Hallelujah! The UK is moving into the 21st century with the announcement today in The Times that they are going to allow mix race adoptions. For decades these poor children have been languishing in the system and aging out without ever having the chance to find a loving family simply because the government has the outmoded idea that you cannot mix ethnic backgrounds in adoption. Surely the most important thing is that a child has a chance to lead a normal life. And that is a life with a family and all the ups and downs of family life. We hope that this new announcement will bring many more families into the adoption arena bringing joy to many childless couples.
The system still though needs to be overhauled and streamlined. Professionalism needs to reign so to the knowledge that a certain percentage of adoptions will fail and take that into consideration and account. The Social Services fear of making a mistake is criminal and has resulted in only 2300 adoptions approved last year out of 65000 children in care. Someone needs to take responsibility and step up to the plate. They may say that they are hoping to readress the racial situation but unless they make positive changes that allows for the human condition and relationships, I fear it might just be 'hot air'.
The all new International Adoption Guide will be coming 1 December

Thursday, 5 August 2010


UNICEF's position on Inter-country adoption
Since the 1960s, there has been an increase in the number of inter-country adoptions. Concurrent with this trend, there have been growing international efforts to ensure that adoptions are carried out in a transparent, non-exploitative, legal manner to the benefit of the children and families concerned. In some cases, however, adoptions have not been carried out in ways that served the best interest of the children -- when the requirements and procedures in place were insufficient to prevent unethical practices. Systemic weaknesses persist and enable the sale and abduction of children, coercion or manipulation of birth parents, falsification of documents and bribery.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guides UNICEF’s work, clearly states that every child has the right to grow up in a family environment, to know and be cared for by her or his own family, whenever possible. Recognising this, and the value and importance of families in children’s lives, families needing assistance to care for their children have a right to receive it. When, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable, unable or unwilling to care for her/him, then appropriate and stable family-based solutions should be sought to enable the child to grow up in a loving, caring and supportive environment.

Inter-country adoption is among the range of stable care options. For individual children who cannot be cared for in a family setting in their country of origin, inter-country adoption may be the best permanent solution.

UNICEF supports inter-country adoption, when pursued in conformity with the standards and principles of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoptions – already ratified by more than 80 countries. This Convention is an important development for children, birth families and prospective foreign adopters. It sets out obligations for the authorities of countries from which children leave for adoption, and those that are receiving these children. The Convention is designed to ensure ethical and transparent processes. This international legislation gives paramount consideration to the best interests of the child and provides the framework for the practical application of the principles regarding inter-country adoption contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These include ensuring that adoptions are authorised only by competent authorities, guided by informed consent of all concerned, that inter-country adoption enjoys the same safeguards and standards which apply in national adoptions, and that inter-country adoption does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it. These provisions are meant first and foremost to protect children, but also have the positive effect of safeguarding the rights of their birth parents and providing assurance to prospective adoptive parents that their child has not been the subject of illegal practices.

The case of children separated from their families and communities during war or natural disasters merits special mention. Family tracing should be the first priority and inter-country adoption should only be envisaged for a child once these tracing efforts have proved fruitless, and stable in-country solutions are not available. This position is shared by UNICEF, UNHCR, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and international NGOs such as the Save the Children Alliance and International Social Service.

UNICEF offices around the world support the strengthening of child protection systems. We work with governments, UN partners and civil society to protect vulnerable families, to ensure that robust legal and policy frameworks are in place and to build capacity of the social welfare, justice and law enforcement sectors.

Most importantly, UNICEF focuses on preventing the underlying causes of child abuse, exploitation and violence.

New York
22 July 2010

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A new child is about to be born

It does not seem more then a dozen years ago when I recieved the beautiful news that my friend had given birth to her third child, a gorgeous daughter. It wasn't 12 years but actually 18 years ago and today she is one day late on her due date of giving birth to her own little son. It is a miracle and thinking about it has caused shivers to run down my arms. This little child is fortunate as he has a loving and supportive family - but it makes me think of other 18 year olds this very day giving birth to children that have not been planned. Do they have the capacity to give their children a loving home? Are they prepared for the hardships of parenting? Can they actually afford to feed another mouth?
I know that many children will be abandoned today. Left on street corners, in parks or perhaps on doorsteps of hospitals or orphanages. It is not necessary because these children are unwanted it is more because of the practical realities of life. At 18 not many young adults have the tools and support to be successful parents. They may initially enjoy the idea but soon with the constant crying and demands find that the task at hand is too much. Perhaps they are frightened - they have not told anyone about it for fear of repercussions - they have hidden their pregnancy and now want to dispose of the child and resume their lives. Perhaps the child has come about through abuse, perhaps the father has rejected them.
The world is not perfect and human nature is flawed. And because of this innocent children are destined to live a life of hardship, deprived of that which is their right - a loving and secure family and home.
I bless the child that is soon to be born and I honour and respect those children who through no fault of their own find themselves alone and abandoned left only with their mother's wish that they will find a family who can look after them better then they could.
We are here to find those families for those lost children.

Friday, 30 July 2010

The joy of my son

It has been a while since I have written on the blog as I am busy writing my website and preparing everything for the launch in September. It is so wonderful to be immersed in the adoption arena and I am so looking forward to bringing to our members all the most relevant and up to date information that will make their adoption process quicker, cheaper and easier and most importantly will ensure that more children come out of orphanages quicker.
I had one of those perfect days with my child today and I can honestly say that I am all 'loved up' about him. In the daily struggles of school, meals, work etc I sometimes forget what a complete gift he is. But today at 6 and a half he is showing such amazing signs of confidence, ability, talent. I am really impressed. We sit down to do some puzzles and whilst I am explaining to him he has already come up with the answers (thank goodness maths does not phase him). He gets onto a trampoline and starts to do pikes, we go to the park and he opens the gate for a mother and her pram, and then goes on to make friends with all the kids in the play gound. At this moment I can't fault him. He is funny, bright, talented, confident. And wise. When his friend commented that Simon Cowel was having a bad day he responded "Well, he needs to get some energy by eating his vegetables and getting to bed early. Then he will feel better, yes he definately needs to get some more sleep!"
I love him and I thank all the powers that be that bought us together.
Adoption is such a beautiful gift, how could that ever slip my mind?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Intimidation by Social Workers

I think that I have heard it all now.
I have just been talking to a member who is in the homestudy process. She had a question and sent it off by e-mail to her local authority. Can you guess what the response was? Answering the question? A pointer in the direction where she could find the answer herself?
No. She received an e-mail to tell her that she is not allowed to ask so many questions!! Yes, someone at the local authorites sat down and penned an e-mail telling a potential adopter that she is asking too many questions and she is NOT ALLOWED to ask questions.
I am just laughing now, as this is possibly the most ridiculous thing that I have ever, ever heard.
Not so funny for the adopter who is totally intimidated and feels that she is living under the Stazi.
How can this be?
I cannot even write any more except How can this be??

Monday, 21 June 2010


I must be the proudest mom in the world!! My son has just won The Most Entertaining Singer at a local music festival - the judges 3 major West End Theatre Names. How totally, totally wonderful to have others verify that the voice I hear everyday is beautiful.

At the end of the evening when all the excitment had died down and my star was asleep, I could not rest. I could not even think. I was numb. Not in a negative way but in a reassesment way. Up until this point our lives have been on of survival, success being making it to the end of the day. We have lived in the moment, dealing with events as they arise, battling with RAD, struggling with emotions and behaviour, reaffirming stability and security.

And suddenly, the doors of the future have been swung open. The challange has begun. One of the major reasons for adoption is to give a child a chance to fulfil his or her potential. Now, much sooner then I anticipated, my son has shown his potential - it is now my job to help him fulfil it.

So with happy numbness I have to reassess my role. The gaunlet has been thrown and I cannot mess up. I have to direct this beautiful talent in the right direction, I need to ensure that I do the best for him, and it is now not in my hands - his talent will flourish in the hands of others and it it my task to find who are the right others. I hope I do the right thing.

And in the quiet moments I feel a little sad, a little sad because children grow up much quicker then we ever wish for.

For more about international adoption see www.internationaladoptionguide.co.uk

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Look closely

I have just read these powerful words from Alice Walker:

"Look closely at the present you are constructing:
it should look like the future you are dreaming."

Keep this in mind throughout the adoption process. Often times it feels as if you are just going round and around in circles with no end in sight. There is an end and you are constructing it. It may not have been your desired way to parenthood but it is now your way and as you progress you will see that each step that you complete brings you closer to your desired outcome - that of becoming a mother or father.

Construction is a good word that I hadn't thought of before. I have always seen adoption as something linear but now I read this I am having a rethink. It is not linear, it is as the word construction implies - three dimensional. Adoption and the road to it works on many levels building and creating, enduring and fashioning. You do construct a new world and perhaps that is why this process is so difficult. Unlike your future child's Lego blocks, which stack easily one on top of the other in a natural and cohesive way - constructing adoption has no instruction manual that you can just follow, it is not intuitive and natural, it is strange and rare and odd with events and people and process that prior to this you never knew existed. But as you come across them you place them in your constuction. For each person there is a different emphasis depending on the future they are dreaming. Thus each adoption is different, each journey different, each future different.

But International Adoption Guide www.internationaladoptionguide.co.uk can help with the basics of your construction. We give you the tools and the instruction book to help you to construct your future, to guide you in the process and to lead you to your dreams.