Tories vow to remove inter-racial taboo in adoption

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Tories vow to remove inter-racial taboo in adoption

Postby lilit » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:40 am

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/p ... 119727.ece

What does everybody think? I am inclined to think that children should probably go to families with similar racial profiles where possible, but I think that inter-racial adoption or long-term foster placement should be considered where this isn't possible.

P.S. I hope this leads to a proper evaluation of how the system cares for children and isn't just a cheap political stunt :roll:
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Postby j-h-g-5 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:53 pm

In my view, children should be placed in a family that have the same / similar racial profile as themselves.

The problem seems to be that there are too few 'ethnic minority' adopters in comparison with the amount of children needing placement from the same ethnic background.

So, what is the answer? Encourage more people from the ethnic minorities in question to adopt, you'd have thought. This is what the Tories seek to promote - in the first instance, and you'd have to agree.

Are we saying that it is better to have a child adopted with any race family rather than not to be adopted at all? That's a difficult one to answer.

Speaking as someone whose own cousin's child has recently been fostered and abused by people from a different ethnic background, I would suggest it is to be avoided at all cost. In my view, the racial difference contributed to the abuse in this case.

I cannot go into further detail, as it seems the matter may end up in court, whilst the SS are frantically trying to sweep it all under the carpet.
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Postby ladyarcher » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:48 pm

It's the 'perfect world' syndrome isn't it. In the totally perfect world, adoption would not be needed, all children would be loved and their parents would be able to keep them. That would be sad for adopters who would not be able to have a child to love.

Its difficult enough adjusting to being in any 'different' situation, whether it is simply moving to a different area of the country, or country to city, a different school, whatever. Adusting to being adopted is another layer again, having people saying 'why aren't you the same colour as your parents?' could be anything from minor awkward, to a very big deal depending on the child and how well its adopters prepare it.

Carry that on to differences of upbringing and religion and tradition and culture ---- yes, it would appear at first thought that children should be as nearly matched as possible in colour, culture, tradition, etc. But we have to acknowledge that most white people are not awfully well informed about all the different nuances of the different cultures. Even those who are supposed to be expert can make mistakes out of assuming that all coloured people are the same if they are of the same approximate race. Whereas there are probably far more variations in religion and culture that there are among white races.

Probably whatever decisions are made it is the usual 'no win' situation for the child. I am sure that Lilit is right when she suggests that this could just be another political stunt, usually aimed at directing our focus away from something they do not want us to notice. Just yet another social experiment, that will misfire, as they usually do.

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Postby j-h-g-5 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:05 pm

Somebody, in my view needs to address the causes of the problem...

Why are there so many minority children in care and requiring a permanent home in the first place, and so few willing adopters from the same minorities?

It is easy to be cynical about the motivation from political parties, but the Conservative party spokesman on the issue is himself an adopted person, so at least will speak from a totally different perspective than the current incumbent.

I am not sure it is a 'stunt' either. It is a policy / issue raised by a political party that is not in power, and there is no immediate sign of a general election either. If anybody has things they don't want us to notice, then it is likely to be the party in power, not the opposition.

Anybody who has just sat through today's Prime Minister's Question time, in which the PM displayed a total arrogance and indifference toward questions rightly asked about the tragic baby case in Haringey will see what I am getting at here.
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Postby ladyarcher » Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:51 pm

Difficult to ask this question without sound racist, but if the minority groups John refers to are 'pure' of that particular group - would they then perhaps not want to adopt a mixed race child, even if half of that child's 'blood' was pure.
Would they not want to adopt at all, even if the child was the same race, for other cultural reasons, particularly if they had not been in this country for very long themselves. i.e. if they were not 3rd or 4th generation brought up here, they would perhaps not have the same views on adoption in the form that we use it.
I don't know the answers to these thoughts as I don't know much about the many different cultural and ethnic traditions of people who come to this country for a variety of reasons. Bear in mind that it is not so very long ago that Chinese people were putting girl babies outside to die, because they only wanted boys - it takes a very long time for traditions to change, so perhaps that is part of the problem.
No offence intended to anyone reading these boards from wherever they come from. We all need far more education about the reasons for the traditions of other cultures, and they for ours, perhaps then we will all be more respectful to eachothers' differences.

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Postby j-h-g-5 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:26 pm

The majority of adopters normally wish to adopt children from a similar ethnic background to their own. Social Services also match children with adopters.

There are no facts and figures available showing a breakdown of the genetic origins of those children desperately in need of a permanent home, yet we are told that their is an acute shortage of people willing to adopt children from certain racial backgrounds.

Reading between the lines - and I am being exceptionally careful what I say - I am led to believe that there is a lack of adopters within Afro-Caribbean communities. Therefore, something needs to be done to encourage more adopters from that racial background.

Raising the issue of mixed-race children is another thing, although there are plenty of mixed-race relationships, finding the correct mix to accommodate a mixed-race child presents different difficulties again.

So.. the question remains - why are there not enough adopters from certain communities, and what can be done to get more to step forward?

I think that in an ideal world, there would be no need for adoption at all, yet the world is not ideal. I would suggest that where possible, it is still preferable - for a variety of reasons - that children are best placed within families of their own racial grouping (even loosely termed).

The other angle that needs drastic attention in my view is WHY there are so many unwanted / unloved children in the first place. Perhaps mass-re-education is in order - starting in the classroom.

The recent case of 'Baby P' in the news also makes me wonder what kind of sick society we are currently living in. If ever there was a case for urgent action by SS, this was it, yet despite 60 visits to the child, nothing of substance was done. Shame on the parents, the lodger, the doctor, the Social Services, Haringey Council and the Government in my opinion.

Incidentally, this child was white. This child needed to be removed from his abusive home environment, and placed with others who could have offered an alternative. There is little shortage of those willing to adopt white babies, is there?
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Postby ladyarcher » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:04 pm

Sadly you are right John, pretty little white boys and girls usually get found a 'forever home' quickly.
From the point of view of adoption, I would be interested to know if it is acutally a cultural thing, not to adopt, it may just not be a thing that is done. Maybe in their original countries children are automatically taken in by family and adoption in our legal form does not exist - someone out there must know.

With regard to baby P - which probably shoud be a new thread as it will hijack this one - yes, a very sick society. Lets not forget that it was not the Social Workers - whatever we may think of them - that actually harmed the babe. It was several adults, I think we are being told they are of age. It is quite beyond the imagination of most people to do that sort of harm to a child, or animal, but we know it happens to both children and animals. What on earth is there in the background of these people that made them so totally unaware that they were doing wrong. Most people, whatever their social or educational status, have an instinctive 'stop' button. These didn't. One can only draw the conclusion that they are mentally deficient in the same ways perhaps as the Moors murderers, and the Wests. Deficient in the 'stop' or 'don't even think it ' part of consciousness and conscience.
Locking up and throwing away the key, one feels, is too good for them.
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Postby j-h-g-5 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:10 pm

Yes, other adults caused the harm, but it was the function of the child protection team within Haringey Social Services department to identify the risks posed to that child, and to make a correct report to the court in order that appropriate action be taken.

Despite visiting their home on no fewer than sixty occasions, the child protection team managed only to get the so-called mother to take the child to see a doctor, it seems. Not once did anybody physically check the child over properly - and we are told that the doctor failed also to do this.

I accept that the primary blame lies with the adults the child lived with, but these social workers and medics are supposed to be professional people with years of experience in spotting signs of child abuse.

Anybody can make a baby. It requires little in the way of intelligence or compassion, as this case shows. However, you'd have thought that intelligence and compassion should be pre-requisites in training to become a social worker within child protection.
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Postby lilit » Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:05 am

Regarding cultural barriers to adoption - I don't think adoption is "the thing to do" in white middle-class culture, nobody wants a kid off the "reject pile" and adoption is very much seen as a last resort these days - if you have a look on AUK you'll see some of the comments adopters receive, a lot along the lines of "didn't you try IVF?" etc.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it, Muslim communities generally make provision for children who are without families for whatever reason, I think it's in the Koran, I think Mohammed himself was adopted or adopted a son? From what I've read it's a good approach as well, the child keeps its own name and is part of the new family but always part of the original too. I guess the problem lies with children who are not orphaned or similar but are needing to be adopted for more sinister reasons, they would be outside the community in the first place?

The reason I suspected this Tory thing of being a cheap tactic was that we generally only hear about inter-racial adoption along the lines of "my daughter is waiting to adopt and her local council have hundreds of beautiful mixed-race babies but they won't give her one because she and her partner are both white".
Maybe I'm too cynical, but I worry that it's about curing infertility again, rather than getting nice stable homes for unfortunate wee ones.

What is the position with foster care? I was just thinking that maybe a child who can't be matched with an adoptive family of the same racial makeup could be inter-racially fostered on a sort of long-term "assured" placement, sort of a guarantee of a loving foster home for as long as they want but the opportunity of matching for adoption if an appropriate family turned up? This sounds inane, but makes sense in my mind - I admit to knowing diddly squat about fostering so I'm sorry if it's offensive in any way to anyone involved in foster care.

I think adoption and fostering need to be promoted generally across the board, and NOT as a cure for infertility!
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Postby j-h-g-5 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:04 pm

I am not sure I agree with that. I have known white middle-class people who have adopted an Afro-Caribbean boy for one example, although that happened many years ago now, and I am inclined to think that due to this matching process, it would be unlikely to happen at the current time.

You have a point about Asian culture... it seems to me (and feel free to correct me if I am wrong) that they tend to have a much stronger extended family unit in many cases. The general impression I am getting is that there are more Afro-Caribbean children and those of mixed-race available for adoption. The mixed-race thing is difficult for obvious reasons, but surely more can be done to encourage more Afro-Caribbean adopters.

With such a sensitive and emotive subject, it is very hard to remain objective in all cases. There are too many children without permanent homes - and that is a fact. If politicians do not address the issue, then the will continue to fail those children. Who is to say whether the individual adopter has their own fertility issues or the welfare of a child foremost in their mind?

Yes, inter-racial fostering does happen frequently. Perhaps this is considered more acceptable simply because it is meant to be a short-term measure. The main problem with foster carers is that there are too few of them - regardless of race. I personally would not consider fostering - as I have said before in this forum - as I couldn't bear to hand a child back that I had bonded with. Perhaps I am selfish in that regard.
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