As the government seeks to speed up the adoption process with Michael Gove highlighting the value of a stable and nurturing environment, an adult adoptee suggests the actual adoption is just the beginning and more support post adoption is needed.
On this, Michael Gove and I agree, adoption has to be better than a child languishing in the care system, farmed out to a multitude of foster placements that may break down. Just as Mr. Gove’s personal experience shapes his thoughts on adoption so do mine.
What I think the government and Mr Gove fails to understand is the change in reasons why children are adopted today compared to when we were both adopted. In my case I was adopted because I was illegitimate and my mother did not have the means to care for me in terms of a home, cash or family support, I think this is less the case today. The reasons for adoption today are far more complex and involve problems such as mental health issues, substance mis-use, domestic violence and child abuse, these along with the knowledge gained from neuroscience means that some of the children who need to be adopted now may have far more complex emotional and psychological needs than I did, and thus require adoptive parents able to cope with whatever this might bring.
Whilst the system does require reform, lets base it on facts and evidence not personal experience. Yes personal experience is important, it can act as a motivator to improve the system, lets just make sure its the right change, otherwise we are in danger of letting down the next generation of adoptees.