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Interesting Article on Adoption

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Interesting Article on Adoption

Post  Guest on Tue 18 May - 20:37

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8665576.stm

By Denise Winterman
BBC News Magazine


A row between Russia and the United States over a boy sent back by his adopted US family has highlighted the issue. Adoptions that break down are rarely talked about but are devastating for all involved.
When seven-year-old Justin Hansen landed at Moscow airport officials found a letter in his pocket. It was from his adoptive family in the US, saying they didn't want him anymore because he was violent. They'd put him on a one-way flight and sent him back - alone.

The incident has made headlines around the world. Russia said it was "a monstrous deed" and immediately halted all adoptions by US citizens. The two countries have now started talks aimed at resuming them. But the incident didn't come as any surprise to some people - other adoptive parents.

'SPECIAL HELP SAVED MY FAMILY'
You think you are doing well but problems can lay dormant for years, which was the case with our daughter, says Chloe
Everything that had worked before, all the usual parenting techniques, didn't any more
Through Theraplay you give your children the love and attention they might have missed out on at a younger age
Instead of a telling off or a few minutes on the naughty chair, you play games that develop closeness and patience


Russia 'suspends adoptions to US'
The risks of adopting from Russia
"When I first heard the story my heart sank," says Heather Forbes, who has adopted two children and runs a website for adoptive parents.

"But not in disbelief, in the sense that it had finally happened. Unbearable states of helplessness can push the mind to think the unthinkable - like just send him back."

While Justin Hansen is an extreme case, adoptions do break down but it is rarely talked about.

In the UK an estimated 20% fail, according to those working in the field. This figure is thought to rise to a third with older children. No official figures are available because local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies are not obliged to keep such data.

According to government figures 3,200 children were adopted in 2008. This figure includes overseas adoption and those by step parents. If the estimates are right, 640 of these will breakdown. So why do so many children end up back in care?

"Parenting an adopted child is completely different from a birth child, everything is turned on its head," says Sarah.

She and her husband adopted their daughter when she was eight. After three years of struggling with her behaviour she was placed back in foster care, where she has now been for two years. The couple are still her parents and see her once a month, but accept she will probably never live back at home.

'Devastating'

"There wasn't many screaming fits, she would just sabotage everything we did for her because she couldn't deal with having parents who loved her," says Sarah. "If I changed her sheets she would wipe wee-soaked knickers over them and if I ironed her clothes she would screw them all up again."

Crucially, they say they were not given help to deal with their daughter's problems. They believe she would still be living with them now if they had.

"We knew our daughter's problems and fully accepted them and did everything we could for her," says Sarah. "But she simply couldn't cope with having a mum and dad. She just didn't know how to let us love her and we didn't know how to teach her to.

"It's been devastating and it will always be a source of sadness for us. When you are living with a child who has been damaged you take on that trauma because you love them so much."


In 2008 3,200 children were adopted in the UK
Getting continued support after adoption is crucial, say parents and charities. Too often people are left alone to deal with very complicated situations and children.

"Adoptive parents aren't mental health workers or psychologists and they are left to muddle through and deal with some very challenging issues," says Jonathan Pearce, director of Adoption UK - a charity run by and for adopters.

Those who do get the right support say it is "life changing". Chloe and her husband adopted their two daughters when they were just nine months old and one year. For years they were a happy family, muddling through the usual problems like any other. But one of their daughters started having behavioural issues and things started to fall apart very suddenly and very quickly.

"Our daughter's problems took years to surface but when they did it was awful," she says. "Everything we'd done before didn't work and the situation kept getting worse. We went from being a strong family and being in control to feeling helpless and out of control."

The couple were referred to the charity After Adoption by social services. It runs a programme called SafeBase, which aims to prevent adoptions from breaking down. It uses Theraplay, a US approach which teaches parents to tackle negative behaviour through structured play.

'Failure and guilt'

"It taught us how to deal with our daughter's particular issues," says Chloe. "It gave us back our family. I don't know of any social service department that provide this type of help, but they all should."

The problem is many children who have been in care have been neglected or abused and are hard-wired neurologically to behave differently, says David Howe, a professor of social work at the University of East Anglia.

Scientists have found the brain of a child who is neglected during its early months develops differently. Its has a poorly developed prefrontal cortex - the area which enables us to recognise thoughts and feelings in other people. As a result they can struggle to empathise with others.

SOME REASONS FOR FAILURE
Lack of support for carers
Incomplete or unshared information
Inaccurate assessments of children's attachment patterns
Changes in the family (death, divorce, redundancy)
Post-adoption depression
Failure of health, therapy and education services to meet needs
Poor communication between agencies and departments
Source: Adoption UK
This often translates into behaviour and attachment problems, say professionals. It also means the usual ways of dealing with a child and disciplining it do not work. Problems can arise at any age, sometimes after many happy years.

"Some people have been brilliant parents to their own kids but struggle to cope with children they have adopted because of these differences," says Prof Howe.

"What adoptive parents do is incredible, but they often don't get the help they deserve - or the acknowledgment."

Another major factor in adoptions failing is parents not getting the full information about a child. Often vital details are incomplete or unshared.

"Local authorities and adoption agencies still give a sanitised version of children's histories so parents won't get put off," says Mr Pearce.

"Also information is often filtered down and simplified as reports are written or legal documents drawn up. Important details get lost when people are trying to condense words."

Both of these crucial issues need to be tackled because when an adoption fails it is devastating for everyone involved.

"For the child it is yet another loss and for the parents there is a huge sense of failure and guilt," says Mr Pearce. "But when it works it is a great outcome for everyone involved."

Maybe there are similar issues surrounding birth children as well - whether by natural conception or IVF. Some of the comments at the end are food for thought.
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Re: Interesting Article on Adoption

Post  LJC on Tue 18 May - 23:31

When a child reaches a certain age, if that child has certain behaviours or traits, they become more apparent. Madeleine was at that certain age.
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Re: Interesting Article on Adoption

Post  lynn on Tue 18 May - 23:47

[quote="The Famous Grouse"]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8665576.stm

By Denise Winterman
BBC News Magazine

Maybe there are similar issues surrounding birth children as well - whether by natural conception or IVF. Some of the comments at the end are food for thought.

Thanks for this article. Always thought Madeleine was not the biological child and an outsider. Someone has disposed of Madeleine, but how is the question.
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Re: Interesting Article on Adoption

Post  lynn on Tue 18 May - 23:53

Could Madeleine still be alive? Is her missing one big scam. Money has certainly been made from this case. Is this why none of the other holiday makers plus family have not come forward with the truth. Madeleine looked a sad child in photos. Her eyes were sad and the lower lids were low which is not a good sign. Sadly, there were the cadaver dogs.
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