We’re always pleased to have opinions and guest posts from a wide variety of people. Today’s post is from Suzanne, whose grandchild was removed and placed for adoption…
I personally think it (contact) should be facilitated. Adoptive families and birth families, if parents are not suitable then other relatives. In a mutually agreed venue, preferably not too public, but DEFINATELY not local authority. If only the once. But more often if agreeable. After all we are talking about a child’s identity. Letterbox is sterile and not a trustworthy form of contact if the birth parents have had a bad time with Social Services.
With only a letter it could just as easily be fabricated. While I have heard stories for and against this idea, the ‘for’ camp wins as far as I cannot trust what I am told by anything Local Authority.
Our son, his brother, sister and us wanted contact initially with the adoptive mother, perhaps over the years starting with our son; the father so that she could build up a relationship and as she felt more sure of us to include ‘the daughter/grand daughter/ niece later as she grew older. So she could come to know us as an introduction for the future. To see we are not the monsters we are sure the adoptive mother at least has been told. We have absolutely no assurances that this is not the case just meaningless comments to the contrary, “why would we want to paint your family as monsters?” To us it is painfully obvious from the way we were all abused before, throughout and since the court dates. Or is that just the way they do it in the Home Counties?
Our hopes for the future were dashed as a result of malicious and inhumane dealings with social services. How much of the denial of photographs or other items such as cards was a spiteful recommendation of Social Services we will never know. I have been in a caring profession for almost 40 years. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that there were people who also are supposed to care but are like the ones we have dealt with. Heartless and spiteful and for all we know that includes the adoptive mother we have no term of reference. All we have is bad experiences.
As an RGN I have a code of conduct, duty of candour and care. To have made all this up is an offence. I also made the police and hospital aware of my concerns they did nothing. A critical incident happened while in care of the Local Authority and nothing was done. I brought that to everyone’s attention and it was covered up Their internal inquiry gave enough for the SCR.
All I wanted was for my Grand daughter to be kept safe and given good care while in Local Authority care. They did neither. Two Social Workers should have been disciplined for their inactions. They were not. Yet with all the information I gave them to point them in the direction of problems it was me that was the problem to be eliminated from my grand daughter’s life. Yet all I get is letterbox. I have wondered if they think I would tell my son where any contact happened. That is against my code of conduct!
I appreciate not all experiences will be the same. I think my professional status and knowledge did not help any party most of all us. I can see the Social Services viewpoint but if the SGO had worked we would have walked the line and my son would not have jeopardised the arrangement as they all said he would. Too late now. Our son lost a daughter but saved from maintenance payments and same situation of no access at mercy of her mum. So adoption not the worst outcome for father or daughter. ‘Silver lining ‘ perhaps.