TV prog 'Finding Mum and Dad'

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TV prog 'Finding Mum and Dad'

Postby sylvie » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:20 pm

Really shocking to hear an adoption official describe the final part of the adoption process as making the child 'as if born to' the people who have adopted them. (Why not simply 'adopted by'?)

This is the 21st century. Are we still, as a society, concocting this make-believe?
Why can't the children just be loved for exactly who they are? Just as they are. Born into one family. Adopted into another. A member of two families, who the child is free to relate to as he or she pleases.
Why can't these facts simply be faced?
Why can't the child simply be loved in full acknowledgement and acceptance of the fact that he or she wasn't born into the family who have adopted them? Why the pretence?

The child was born to others, and has a family of origin who still exist in most cases. And who the adopted person has a right to.
The child, upon adoption, gains another family who they grow up within.

Why is it accepted practice to contort and mangle reality so that the child is viewed 'as if born to' the people who have adopted them?
Saying a child is 'as if born to' their adoptive parents is to completely deny the child their right to belong also to their original family (if they wish to).
It also completely erases that original family. Making reunion a minefield as the unnecessary shock of realising that the child was not born to the adoptive parents is eventually faced.

This is so archaic. I thought, as a society, we were able to face reality but, according to that adoption official, apparently not. We are still in fairyland. Who on earth does denial ever serve?
Last edited by sylvie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
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Re: TV prog 'Finding Mum and Dad'

Postby ladyarcher » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:09 am

I have also posted about this programme, Sylvie, I found I could not watch all of it, I did not hear the bit about making the child as if it were born to the a.parents....that is ridiculous....... as you say, it is propounding a lie, and lies are destructive to both the liar and the lied to........

.....what I found awful in the programme was the 'adoption parties', and the fact that the young social worker, who looked about 15, referred to having to 'go and work the room' .......I suppose that is the way such people speak, but it grated terribly .....

With regard to the two little boys......I just wanted to go and grab them, and be their nan .......they are so like my younger grandson who we 'mind' all the time ........ he has just started school, and it is worrying enough to just think of him at the mercy of other adults who don't know him, for those two little boys, they had already had parents who had not cared for them properly....... they had what appeared to be lovely foster parents, but could still not feel settled because although the foster mother wanted to adopt them, her husband didn't......it seemed to imply that he felt he was too old.....there was during the programme the 'risk' that the boys would be separated because the younger one would be easier to place on his own.......no explanation of what the soc.workers thought would happen to the older boy......presumably he would remain 'in care', fortunately the foster mother fought for them not to be separated........... however, several years on, the children are still not placed in a 'forever home'......ghastly expression ...... so are luckily still with the foster parents........always the fear that they will get passed on to another foster couple .........

It occurred to me that there could be a place for being adoptive grandparents ........ probably we are far too old, in our late sixties, and we are beginning to have health 'hiccups' that tell us that we are 'getting on', although we still pretty much do what we have always done, it is just getting a bit more difficult.............but a 'grandparent', or grandparents, who were in their early fifties could still give a child around twenty years of security.......don't know how it could be made to work from the practical point of view....... or how the grandparents adult children would react.......perhaps it might be something that would work for couples whose adult children had no children. Don't know .......

The title of the program was awful too.........

LA
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Re: TV prog 'Finding Mum and Dad'

Postby sylvie » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:14 am

LadyArcher, I completely agree with you. There was so much about that programme that was awful.

As well as the phrase 'as if born to', other things deeply grated too.

I could not believe that someone would choose to adopt one child but not that child's sibling, the one link that child has to his or her original family - someone who is a stable point and who has witnessed, walked beside and shared the frightening instability of being a child living outside a family. That, to me, is unthinkable and cruel.

I am very close to the sister I grew up with and we have a unique role in each other's life - experiencing difficult situations together and helping each other make sense of them in a way no-one else can. We have walked our entire lives beside each other - commenting, accompanying, comforting, helping, validating, loving. To separate siblings is absolutely awful, in my view.

The idea that someone went to one of those hideous parties and chose one child and left her brother behind makes me feel extremely angry on behalf of both of those children. Not only did they lose their original family, they then lost each other (and someone made that happen, because they wanted just one. If they wanted just one, they should have adopted a child who didn't have a sibling. To knowingly and willingly separate those siblings was completely selfish, in my view, and not in the interests of either child). As if one's sibling doesn't matter. Unbelievable.

[I know one of the people posting on this site has adopted one of a sibling group but that is different, in my view, as that sibling group was very large and it was simply not possible to adopt them all. Also, LA, I know these views of mine on separating small sibling groups may chime with your personal story and I hope my anger at this practise doesn't cause you hurt].

My stomach also churned at the sound of prospective adopters saying 'Well, we want two girls/a boy and a girl/just the one/as young as possible...' etc. To me, that made it very clear that the whole adoption process is not about meeting the needs of the child and entirely about meeting the desires of the adults.
If it was about meeting the needs of the child, those dreadful adoption parties would be empty by the end, since every child there was in need.
I also wondered if all future parties for those children would be tainted by this experience.

I also looked at that dear little boy's eyes (the older brother) and saw fear and trepidation there, and really felt for him. I think he knew how vulnerable his life was, and that a whim of an adult somewhere could separate him from his brother. I hope so much that they can grow up together - they so need each other in their journey through life.

So much of that programme felt wrong. I especially wondered what effect those parties will have on the youngsters in them (who are the real important ones in this situation - I think asking them what THEY want, rather than asking prospective adopters what they want should be the priority of the social workers).

There are questions around those children's privacy by showing their lives on national TV in this way.
There are questions around how it feels to be looked at and judged at such a young age.
There is a danger that the children may feel objectified, and that only certain behaviour gets them love and security (rather than it being unconditional).

That said, I liked seeing the warmth of the foster carers. And, although there is a real issue about the personal privacy of the young individuals, I did think that seeing those lovely lovely little human beings makes it impossible to leave them insecurely in care. I have no idea how anyone walked out of one of those parties without having promised a child a new home. I hope, with a very heavy heart, that the children don't feel that they aren't good enough. As we all saw, they were as absolutely lovely as all children are.
Last edited by sylvie on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
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Re: TV prog 'Finding Mum and Dad'

Postby ladyarcher » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:27 pm

Absolutely not......not the least hurt or offended Sylvie....... I know that it was my a.mother who 'chose to just have one'...........

..........I suppose that looking at it one way, I could/should be grateful that she did not want a baby......if she had, then perhaps I, as a two year old, may have stayed in 'care' or been brought up in a childrens' home ....... however it is a pity that she got first choice, as my full sister is very positive that her a.mother would have had both of us, had I still been available.......my full sister's a.parents wanted two children, and in fact adopted a boy a year later.......so she has a 'brother' .....my sister is sure that her parents did not know that there were two of us....and it would have been too late anyway.........my a.mother, however, did know there were two of us........and that to me, is unforgive-able....

....I have always thought that probably the authorities at the time, did not try too hard to persuade my a.mother to take both of us..... in case she decided to have neither............and they would of course have known that as the older child I was the less likely it would be 'picked' over a sparkly new baby ...... I also wonder with the preference a.mothers usually had for new babies, if that made it easier for them to pretend to themselves, and possibly to others as well, that the child was 'theirs'....

...it looks from those 'parties' as if a.mothers still prefer younger children.............perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on them, because the older a child the more likely it is to have problems from its past......and for an a.mother who has no experience, it is perhaps more likely to be a more successful adoption, initially,........ if the child is v.young, it is maybe perceived as more of a 'blank canvas' ....... however as we all know, this does not guarantee success as separated/adopted at any age can throw up problems at any age too...

I do realise, of course, that reasons for adoption have changed over the years....... the two little lads in last nights programme were allegedly removed for their own safety........one hopes this was genuinely so.........there may be valid reasons for only adopting one child...... but in that case, surely, the authorities should only introduce children who do not have siblings ......

So sad that the foster father was not keen to make the fostering into an adoption.........it appeared to suggest that he felt they were too old, but they didn't look it........ the foster mother appeared lovely ......some of the prospective adopters seemed to treat it like choosing a puppy......it's to be hoped they don't have a puppy either..........as you imply, Sylvie, it looked like 'designer children'.......and don't even get me started on the celebs. who adopt with no regard for matching ethnicity........

LA
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Re: TV prog 'Finding Mum and Dad'

Postby sylvie » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:47 pm

Again, I completely agree LA.

And I think the adoption system should question very closely the motives of someone who wishes to adopt only one of a small sibling group, thus necessitating their split from each other. This suggests to me that the prospective adopter is not thinking of the best interests of the child but of their own wishes only. To allow such an adoption suggests to me that the adoption agency is also not thinking of the best interests of the child either.

I also shudder at anyone wishing to adopt a newborn baby, or insisting the child to be as young as possible.
This suggests to me that the prospective adopter really wants the child to be a blank slate, rather than accepting that the child will have some traits that are similar to their original family. In this I see the first seeds of conditional love.
It's a form of magical thinking to try and pretend a child has no inherited characteristics.
This can only be detrimental to the child. As if who and what they are is somehow intrinsically at fault, instead of it being that who they are is beautiful in itself, no matter how they may differ from those who have adopted them. They are beautiful little people, just as they are.

No child is a blank slate - that is old and wishful thinking.
If they were indeed blank slates, then all newborn babies would be completely interchangeable and no maternity hospital would bother with ankle tags to identify who is born to who. As a society, we recognise that they are not interchangeable, except when it comes to adoption when children miraculously become blank slates.

When my son and I reunited, it was astonishing how many similar and detailed traits we shared, both physically and behaviourally. And spirit-wise. Down to tiny, almost absurd details. He also shares some specifically odd and striking similarities with my dad.
When we reunited, we all knew each other instantly, on an instinctive level. We didn't interact as strangers at all, despite our different experiences and viewpoints. We are still getting to know the details of each others' lives, but we got each other straight away, on that deep inner level.

the older a child the more likely it is to have problems from its past


That wasn't true of you though, was it LA?
Nor of my son, who came from a fairly ordinary family apart from the fact that his mother was very young. And unmarried.

some of the prospective adopters seemed to treat it like choosing a puppy.


I thought the same and quite frankly, that made me want to puke. I thought it was potentially very dehumanising for the children to be treated like that, no matter how 'nice' it all looks on the surface, and the two brothers' foster carer was clearly upset by it too.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
sylvie
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:39 pm


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