adoption in the media
0 comment Sunday, May 11, 2014 |
I am getting pretty sick of most portrayals of child protection, the care system and adoption in the mainstream media. I can't even remember the last time that I read or saw anything that didn't concentrate on the birth parents' loss, as if children and their right to live free of abuse and neglect is an utterly secondary consideration to the wishes and needs of adults. Take for instance this offensive article by Joanna Moorhead in the Saturday Guardian last week, where a child protection worker is interviewed as if she were some evil child-snatcher and the birth parents are portrayed as harmless saps with society against them.
The following is my response to the Guardian letter's page: Joanna Moorhead describes herself as perhaps appearing an 'over-emotional, woolly liberal' ('Removing a Child is Terrible' Family, Saturday Guardian 14/01/12). Actually to me she came over as immature, ignorant and offensive. To ask Sallyanne Jones, a specialist in child protection, how she would feel if she had to give up her child - as she cradled her seven-month old baby - smacked of a childish 'how would you like it to happen to you then, eh?' and was downright nasty, something I suspect the writer was half-aware of considering she spent the first part of the article defending the question.I adopted my children and am all too aware that birth parents who do not abuse or neglect their children find Social Workers, the care system and adoption frightening. The idea of someone taking away their child and losing them to a bunch of nameless people is too horrific to contemplate. But what people like Sallyanne and other people caught up in child protection and its ramifications, like Foster Carers and adopters know, is that child protection is exactly that; it is about protecting the child. Hard as it may be for Joanna Moorhead to acknowledge that some parents abuse and neglect their children, it absolutely does happen. We now know that such trauma damages the growing brain, causing the child to suffer all sorts of mental and physical dysfunctions. That cannot be allowed to happen because we might be squeamish about causing distress to the parents. She may think that 'removing children from their mother is almost always tragedy', but she is wrong. It isn't 'almost' always a tragedy, it is always a tragedy for everyone involved, most especially - Joanna Moorhead should perhaps contemplate - for the child who needed protection from their own mother.

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