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Are Adoption Guidelines Racist? National Adoption Week Highlights Bureaucratic Process

Posted on the 02 November 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Are adoption guidelines racist? National Adoption Week highlights bureaucratic process

Tim Loughton, Children's Minister. Photocredit:

Adoption, it seems, is in a shameful state. Commentators all agree that something must be done about it: but what to do is more nebulous. There are currently 65,000 children in care, waiting to be taken in by families. Last year, only 3,050 children were adopted from state care, according to The Daily Mail, down 8 percent from 2007.  Ethnic minority children wait three times longer than whites to be placed with families; but whilst it has been posited that adoption race rules should change, Children’s Minister Tim Loughton has suggested that they will remain.

“It is shocking that of the 3,600 children under the age of one in care, only 60 were adopted last year – this is clearly not good enough”, said David Cameron, quoted on the Press Association.

The adoption system must be changed. Tim Loughton, the minister for children and families, in an opinion piece in The Times (£), said that there’s no need for nationalisation and a National Adoption Agency; but local leadership must be strong, and attitudes must be changed “at a local level.” Putting children into care is “a long drawn out process”, though, which still needs a major rehash. It takes 55 weeks to run through the legal stages – a deadline of six months should be all that is necessary, as David Norgrove recommends, but things should work quicker. Now we must work together with all the parts of the system – “courts, adoption panels and social workers” – in order to achieve success.

But league tables aren’t the way to do it. Dominique Jackson in The Daily Mail said that league tables will be yet another layer of bureacracy. Adoption seems like such a “simple equation” – a child needs a family, a family needs a child. But naming and shaming councils is not going to have any effect on something that’s already “hidebound in red tape and political correctness.” We already have similar data. How’s more going to help? The process needs to be streamlined. Get rid of the “fixation” on race, for a start. We must keep the child at the “centre of every decision” – “whatever race, faith or hue.”

You need especially to think about black children. Ben Douglas wrote, in The Daily Mail’s Right Minds, from a personal point of view. He himself was adopted by white parents – but social workers did all they could to prevent it, despite the fact that the parents in question were “prosperous” and had their own children. His adoptive parents fought hard to bring him into the family, and helped shape the “successful entrepeneur” that he is now. The prime minister speaking out against the “preposterous” inter-racial adoption rules is a cause for joy. But Tim Loughton has dashed those hopes. Preventing whites from adopting blacks is nothing short of racist. Thinking about all the black children waiting in “loveless care homes” breaks his heart – yet Douglas will “fight on against this shameful state of affairs.”

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