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Publication - Report

Adoption Policy Review Group: phase one report

Published: 25 Jun 2002
Part of:
Children and families, Communities and third sector
ISBN:
0-7559-2238-7

Report on phase one of a two-phase review to look at adoption law and practice, commissioned in April 2001.

87 page PDF

924.4kB

87 page PDF

924.4kB

Contents
Adoption Policy Review Group: phase one report
Page 13

87 page PDF

924.4kB

ADOPTION POLICY REVIEW GROUP -REPORT PHASE I

questionnaire

questionnaire

Do you know the difference between being fostered or being adopted?

What do you think some of the differences might be?

"Yes - a different mum & dad"

Female (12-16) Residential school

"No - Don't know"

Female (12-16) Residential school

"Yes - adoption is permanent"

Male (12-16) Residential school

"Yes - adoption is basically for life"

Female (12-16) Residential school

"Just the same a different mum & dad"

Female (12-16) Residential school

"I think to be adopted means they can't just put you out like fostercare. When things go bad I have to move"

Male (10-12) Foster care

"Yes having my own real family, someone to love me"

Female (10-12) Foster care

"Yes someone who cared for me, had full parental responsibilities, made me feel I belonged, ownership (adoption)

Female (17+) Foster care

"Yes when you are adopted that's it you are theirs"

Female (12-16) Residential unit

"Don't know

Male (10-12) Residential unit

"You can't have a social worker if you are adopted"

Female (12-16) Foster care

"Yes adoption means that you stay with a new permanent family. Fostering is just temporary"

Male (12-16) Residential unit

"No"

Male (10-12) Residential unit

"Yes - fostering, looked after till you're 16adoption - they look after you as their own"

Male (12-16) Residential unit

"Yes - adopted is when you are there for a lifetime and also become a family member. Foster care is when you are there for a period of time"

Female (12-16) Residential unit

"Yes - when you are adopted you stay forever"

Female (10-12) Residential unit

"Yes - you get new parents if you're adopted"

Female (12-16) Residential unit

"Adopted means that the family get to keep you forever. Fostering is temporary and you get to see your real parents"

Male (10-12) Residential unit

"Yes - when adopted you have to stay with people till you become the age you are allowed to look for your FAMILY"

Female (10-12) Residential unit

"Yes - fostered is being with some people who keep you until they find a different place and adopted is when someone wants to keep you forever"

Female (10-12) Residential unit

If as a person under 18 you have to live away from your family where would you choose and why?

"My own house, so I could have freedom like any other teenager"

Female (12-16) Residential school

"A children's home because you can go in and out when you want. Not as strict as residential schools"

Male (12-16) Residential

"My own flat"

Female (12-16) Residential

"My own house, because I can make my own decisions about things"

Female (12-16) Residential

"Foster care because I want a proper dad"

Female (12-16) Residential

"I would like to live in a foster family or adoptive family as long as they had animals. I don't mind as long as I don't have to keep moving"

Male (10-12) Foster care

"In a family with a mum, dad, children and pets - but I really want to live with mum and my brother because that's my real family"

Female (10-12) Foster care

"I would want to be adopted, that is all I have ever wanted, someone to accept me and live in a normal family. Foster carers get paid to look after you it's just like a job and no matter how good carers they are you are still an outsider"

Female (17+) Foster care

"I would really want to stay at home with my family, mum and dad, because that is where I am supposed to be

Female (12-16) Residential unit

"At home with mum & dad"

Male (10-12) Residential unit

"I would like to stay in foster care"

Female (12-16) Foster care

"I want to stay in care until my mum can look after me properly"

Male (12-16) Residential unit

"With my mum is where I want to be"

Male (10-12) Residential unit

"No comment"

Male (12-16) Residential unit

"I am 16 so next year I will be looking for my own tenancy so that's what I want to do but if I were younger I would prefer living in a residential unit because I have too many past experiences with foster care and it has been bad"

Female (12-16) Residential unit

" I would be back with my mum and family"

Female (10-12) Residential unit

"Don't know - silly questions"

Female (12-16) Residential unit

"No comment to last question"

Male (10-12) Residential unit

"Nowhere but HOME!

Female (10-12) Residential unit

"Here because I am with my sisters"

Female (10-12) Residential unit

Anecdotal Information from Who Cares? Scotland Young Persons Workers

Re children aged 7 & 8 years who have younger siblings who have just been through the adoption process.

The children were unhappy that their siblings had been adopted and that there was a good chance they would not see them again.

I discussed the term adoption in terms of their siblings getting new parents. The children were able to distinguish between their foster placement and their siblings being adopted. The foster carer and social worker had also explained adoption to them.

The children were very upset about the process and angry that their family would be split up. They were also very upset about the possibility that they may not see their siblings again. This part of the adoption process they did not understand. They also could not understand why their siblings were getting new parents and they were not.

The children knew the difference between adoption and fostering.

The children did not fully understand the effect of adoption. They could not understand that there was a possibility that they would not be able to see their siblings again. They were worried that their siblings would eventually forget them.

Anecdotal Questionnaire - comments from Young Persons Worker.

Re child aged eight from a large family where 2 younger siblings have been adopted.

I am currently working with the eldest child. I was contacted by the foster carers as they felt that the child was not being listened to by the social work department. They were unsure whether the child wanted to be adopted as planned. The child still has regular contact with relatives. During his time with the carers the child was noted to have made good progress and was making friends at school and settling in well.

The carers were also concerned about contact with the child's siblings. The oldest siblings had been placed with a couple who expressed that at the present time they were finding it hard to facilitate contact between the family.

My involvement with this young person has been to support the child at reviews to try to explain some of the things that have happened and to find out what the child would like to happen.

I have discussed adoption with the child. The child was clear at the time that he/she would like to stay with the current carers rather than be adopted. In the past when no other suitable people came forward for consideration to adopt the child the child became confused and angry his expectations having been raised. The child still maintains that he/she wants to stay with the current carers but when the child is angry he/she says that the carers do not care for her/him and that he/she wants a new mum and dad.

Other anecdotal involvement by Who Cares? Scotland worker

Child of 11 who is now in a residential unit after adoption broke down at a young age apparently due to the lack of support for prospective adopters. This young person has both social and emotional problems.

Child aged 10 now in long-term foster care following adoption break-down due to behavioural "difficulties".

Two children aged under 5 placed with future adoptive parents. Adoption still has not gone through two years later, and the placement appears to be at crisis point.

The anecdotal information from this worker illustrates a few of the recurring problem areas. The length of the adoption process, family contact during and after adoption, and what happens following the break-down of placements, are all areas which cause problems leading to confusion, frustration and anger for young people involved in the process.

Anecdotal Questionnaire - Young Persons Worker.

Re two children between 6 and 10 years of age placed with prospective adopters. The children knew the term adoption. There are other older adopted children in the home and the carers had discussed adoption with them and from the conversation I had with them they seemed to understand what it would mean.

The children told me they thought it was good to be able to get a new family - they knew about their old family and they understood they could see them if they wanted to.

The cares seemed to have put a lot of effort into both the explanations around adoption and the contact arrangements with the birth family. The children said they could 'phone their relatives when they wanted - but they didn't want to.

I am not sure just how much the children were able to comprehend of the difference between fostering and adoption. They did know things would be forever once the adoption went through. I didn't discuss fostering as far as I can recall. I just asked about the differences between then and now.

I was of the opinion that for children so young they understood the effect of adoption fairly well.

The children now seem happy and settled and I think the main reasons are:

* that the children are fully informed.
* that they can speak openly about their birth family, but don't feel compelled to
* the bad things that happened to the children seem to have been talked about but not greeted with disapproval
* there are other older adopted children, so being adopted into this family is sort of ordinary.

Anecdotal Questionnaire - Young Persons Worker.

Re young people aged 13 to 17 years of age.

The identified young persons were approximately between the ages of 5 & 7 years when this process started.

My involvement with these young people has been limited to their time in either residential or foster care. These are three young people who suffered placement break-downs prior to being received into either residential or foster care. It is perhaps worrying to note that two of those young people were in fact freed for adoption with families but for reasons that remain unclear adoption never went ahead and the matter appeared to drift for several years.

Three of the placements broke down when the young people were approximately eleven to thirteen years.

It is sad to note that all three have no contact with their pre-adoptive families with whom they had been placed and had lived for quite some time.

All three young people have stated that they were too young to remember very much about the process of being placed with their pre-adoptive families as they were too young to remember exactly what was discussed at what point with them.


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