Letter: Adoption is difficult

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I have read recently numbers of articles concerning the attitude of Social Service departments to the adoption of children in their care ("Councils named in adoption crisis", 7 April).

For over 20 years we were foster carers for one of the counties mentioned in the survey.

Apart from the tiny babies, for whom there is no shortage of adoptive parents, social workers were at their wits' end trying to find suitable adoptive parents.

Because of the acute shortage of couples or families coming forward children can be placed in inappropriate situations where couples desperate for families take on children whose difficulties are so immense as to be insuperable.

Very few children awaiting adoption are under five, problem-free and able to fit into a new family easily.

I would not feel capable of adopting an older child myself and in all honesty I could not advise the average couple to adopt unless they had vast experience, extensive training and guaranteed backup, however much love and cherishing they could provide.

Do not blame social workers for not being able to place children in suitable loving homes which are not readily available: they do a pretty thankless task most of the time.