This week is Barnados 6th fostering and adoption week ,its goal being to highlight this issue and recruit more carer and potential adoptive parents .I only knew this through the wonders of twitter and saw a program advertised which struck a chord with me .Channel 4 showed a programme called finding mum and dad on Wednesday 15th January ,I knew it would affect me emotionally so I saw it as a good feature to write about .I played it safe and didn’t watch it when it was on as knew I wouldn’t sleep so watched the day after and got my tissues ready.
The programme showed the pilot scheme of adoption activity days in which children currently in foster care go to and meet prospective parents. The idea behind the scheme is that the potential parents see beyond what’s written in black and white on a child’s file and get to meet them . For me I found it was very painful and awkward to watch as it felt like a cattle market and couldn’t help but think how would the children feel if no one came over to play with them ?? As in often the case with children in care girls and especially younger ones are easier to place in adoption so at one of these days the adults would be more likely to interact with these.
In the programme we saw the stories of few children who had been in foster care for a while including brothers Connor and Daniel who I have to say I fell in love with .They were loving polite and so cute and felt so sad at why they were in care and even more sad that no interest had been shown in them .We saw them attend the adoption party and enjoyed dressing up as superhero’s and they were very aware of why and where they were going .However there wasn’t much interaction done with them and I think it was because they were brothers and the foster carer found it very emotional and she even wrote to the people in charge expressing how she felt uncomfortable about the whole experience . Their foster carer asked Connor about what his new family will be like and he said happy proud and beautiful and his brother will be to here .He also said he wants to live with his mum and dad and if in a year they will b better to live with .By the end of programme they had been to 3 adoption activity days and there had been no interest, there was a meeting to discuss their future and the possibility that they will be separated. It is easier to put children in care when individual ,by this stage I was in floods of tears as it brought it all back to me .However it was decided to keep the boys together which I think was a great decision and I really hope they find a loving family soon.
There was also a boy called Scott in care and his sister who had been living with him had already been adopted and we saw him go into her empty bedroom 😦
The foster carers explained the difference in being adopted and being a foster kid, its about the status stigma that goes with the label of being a kid in care .whereas when a child is adopted it shows that someone has gone that extra mile and put that effort into making you a part of their family.
The programme did show a successful story with Thomas going to court and getting his adoption legalised and finalised and saw the family celebrating calling it Thomas day .
Watching this programme brought up a lot of emotions for me as when I was 8 I was adopted and unfortunately it wasn’t a happy ending in that I have had no contact with them for over 10 years . I was adopted separately from my siblings which was very hard and the whole thing has affected me how I am as a adult in every role I take .When I was watching the adoption activity day I was asking myself how would I have felt going to one of these ? is it a fair and ethical experience for all involved ? With being in care in the first place there is a element of rejection and even now at age of 30 I have a lot of issues surrondig self esteem and trust .How would a child feel to kee going to these events and not being successful ?? That’s not to say its not working and wont provide loving homes for chilen which is the main thing . I just wanted to write It from the insight of someone who has been in care and adopted .
In a ideal world I would be fostering and give help to those who need it but at the moment Im not in a position to do so .
.Could you ?? Go check out Barnados website http://www.barnardos.org.uko
Thank you for reading 🙂