Letter: Caught in the adoption minefield

Share
Related Topics
Sir: We would like to express our anger and disappointment at the decision by the Minister of Health to close the Overseas Adoption Helpline. As from March next year there will be no service dedicated to informing prospective adopters, childcare workers and medical and legal advisers about the complex processes in the sensitive area of inter-country adoption. The absence of this important resource will add pressure to local authority social services departments, which are already overstretched.

Since its foundation in 1992 the helpline has handled more than 13,000 inquiries about adopting children from almost 100 countries, and we know that interest is escalating. This year, there have already been three times as many applications to adopt children from China as last year.

The withdrawal of the Helpline will not mean that those who wish to adopt children from overseas will lose interest but that they may find it impossible to gain accurate information. We do know that the majority of inquirers decide not to proceed, many after talking to Helpline staff. Both the changing criteria of sending countries and the often complex approval process can present a minefield to prospective adopters, and ultimately the lack of service to them impacts on children.

This decision, coming so shortly after the omission of the draft Adoption Bill from the Queen's Speech, raises serious questions about the Government's commitment to international co-operation on the protection of children. The Bill would have enabled the UK to ratify the Hague Convention and thus be in a position to work co-operatively with the increasing number of other countries ratifying.

The good intentions of prospective adopters will not protect children living in poverty across the world from merciless exploitation by marketeers. The Government has a duty to ensure that safeguards are in place and not to dismantle existing provision before proper legislation is passed.

FELICITY COLLIER

Director, British Agencies for Adoption & Fostering

BRIAN WALLER

Chair, Children and Families Committee, Association of Directors of Social Services

DENISE PLATT

Under-Secretary for Social Services, Association of Metropolitan Authorities

STEPHEN CAMPBELL

Under-Secretary for Social Services, Association of County Councils

KEITH BILTON

Chair of Children & Families Sub-committee, British Association of Social Workers

PHILLY MORRALL

National Co-ordinator, Parent to Parent Information on Adoption Services

PAT WORDLEY

Chair, Association of Families who have Adopted from Abroad

London SE1

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Science versus religion in the three-parent baby debate

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Kylie has helped to boost viewing figures for the talent show  

When an Aussie calls you a ‘bastard’, you know you’ve arrived

Howard Jacobson
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee