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Friday, 30 September 2011
Adopting in The UK
A statistic from the paper the other day. How many babies were adopted in the UK last year? 60. That is a jaw-droppingly small number - given the number of children needing to be adopted (the thousands), and the number of loving potential adoptive parents waiting (also thousands). There are many problems with the system, not the least of which is the excessive care taken in trying to find racially-similar parents - a pity because there is something beautiful about multi-racial families. On average, a child takes 2 and a half years from entering the system to be adopted in the UK. That is too long. I have a radical proposal - cut the wait down to zero. If someone applies to adopt, let them adopt. By fast-tracking the initial process, the child gets into a home, and the caseworkers and social workers can then observe the child in situ carefully with the parents (vetted of course for serious criminal records beforehand), rather than carefully observing the prospective parents on their own for 9-12 months before adoption. As everyone knows, fertile people are able to create children without any testing or vetting; no 12 social workers spend a year interviewing their family, friends, and neighbours. Most parents are imperfect in a perfectly human way - they bumble ahead as best they can, warts and all. Why not let adoptive parents be just as awkward, and real? I understand that children are exceptionally vulnerable and need to be protected - but putting them into loving homes faster, fast-tracking the process, will lead to the majority of them being safer, and happier, sooner. As for the problem adoptive parents, these can and should be treated just as any biological parent is.