Letter from J Thomas
I am neither a Social Work professional nor
an immediate birth relative but have had the opportunity to observe
the profound consequences of adoptions in both in my job at a
voluntary adoption agency and first hand in my immediate family.
I am astounded that the Adoption and Children Bill in its current
format is only seeking to improve services for the approximately
2,500 children per year for whom adoption is now considered the
best option. In 1968 alone there were 25,000 adoptions and in
the period 1940-75 there were a minimum of 2 million immediate
birth family members whose lives have been directly affected by
adoption. To only address the future and ignore the opportunity
to make amends to so many people for the mistaken policies of
the past is to provide a Bill of extremely limited scope.
Research has led to the now widely held belief
that these adoptions completely ignored fundamental human needs
of both the children and birth parents (and other birth relatives).
These lifelong needs are only being addressed very inadequately
by the current regulations and services.
Please listen to all those organisations and
individuals who represent the needs of these groups. Provision
of a comprehensive post adoption service, to assist in seeking
information and exploring possibilities of contact, should be
made a statutory duty for all local authorities and adoption agencies.