National Adoption Week took place earlier this month, and amongst a swathe of media stories about how amazing adoption is, how you could help a child in care, and how siblings should be kept together, an open letter to adopters quietly popped up.
Some of us spotted the letter. Others were directed to it by tweets and Facebook from those who had seen it, and soon via the power of social media, the letter became distributed between social media savvy adopters. It’s clear however that this letter is not going to be seen by all adopters, and I know my own local authority knew nothing of the letter until I mentioned it to them. As a result, they won’t be sharing it to other adopters local to me. Would have been nice if someone’s public relations department had emailed it to all local and voluntary agencies for some help with distributing it, unless of course that it’s irrelevant how many adopters actually see it – perhaps the purpose was just to be seen to be doing something?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then please do look up the letter to adoptive parents that Edward Timpson MP has published.
Now, depending on how you feel about the letter, you might like to see a response – we like this one from Amanda Boorman at The Open Nest, we also support her petition which you’ll find here. We urge you to sign and share it.
All of this took place during National Adoption Week – something that appears to have evoked mixed feelings this year – much more so than years before. We have struggled to find out why National Adoption Week was actually established – back in 1997. Was it to raise awareness of adoption generally? Was it to recruit more adoptive parents? And whatever the reason…what is the reason for it now?
We know that each year the focus shifts slightly – this year it was on ‘Siblings’, and the importance of keeping them together. But generally what is it’s purpose?
As an adoptive parent, it all feels about recruitment these days to me. There is nothing about support – yes, Mr Timpson MP addressed it a little care of the new adoption support fund (and the few social workers and professionals that I’ve discussed it with seem nothing buy cynical about how it’s going to work anyway), but nothing from the main players about support now for those of us on the frontline of adoption, nothing about support for those adoptees that are in or have been through the system and are struggling and nothing about how support will improve for those adopters that are being sought to parent the siblings that so desperately need new families…
And it seems that I’m not the only one who feels this way – several blog posts and many tweets show that many feel the same.
As a result, we’ve decided to set up this #WASO special – a place for you to link your blog posts with your thoughts on National Adoption Week and your thoughts on Edward Timpson’s letter to you. And once you’ve added your posts, we’ll forward this all onto Edward Timpson’s office, and to BAAF (as the organisation who runs National Adoption Week) and invite them to respond.
So please, if you’ve been thrilled, moved, felt supported, rejected, forgotten, annoyed or pleased by the recent happenings, do come and share your blog posts on our #WASO special. If you haven’t got a blog but have something to say, then please write about it (and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can publish your post either here or on The Boy’s Behaviour or The Puffin Diaries and link that up.
To give everyone a fair chance to take part, this linky will remain open until NEXT FRIDAY – 28th November.