Social media threat to adopted children grows in UK

LONDON Thu Jan 5, 2012 11:57am EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - British youngsters adopted after abusive childhoods are at risk of fresh emotional turmoil as some birth parents turn to Facebook and other social networking sites to track them down, adoption agencies said on Thursday.

The ease with which birth parents can use technology to get in touch with their children without warning and without following established safeguards has alarmed adoption agencies.

Families who have been contacted have described the experience as like being in a "slow motion car crash" leaving them "battered and bruised." Some families have been torn apart.

"Social networking sites have blown things open -- you can't keep things secret," said Julia Feast, consultant at the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), which campaigns for children in care.

"It really unsettles the whole family," she told Reuters. "It's like a bomb being thrown inside it and you don't know how you are going to pull the pieces together again if children are not being prepared."

Under British law, birth parents cannot access the adoption records of their children and usually, in the days before social networking, it was very difficult for them to make contact.

Since 2005, adopted adults and their birth relatives have had the legal right to ask for intermediary services from an approved agency to help them make contact with each other, but this can be turned down if there are concerns following an assessment.

It is not known how many birth parents are using social networking sites to get around this, but the BAAF said it was receiving "more and more cases."

"We have heard some horror stories, but how frequently it is happening we just don't know," Feast added.

"I think we have to accept that this is the way people communicate these days and that more and more people will resort to this as a way of trying to find relatives.

"We can't ignore it but we have to be pro-active so people can manage it if it does happen."

The BAAF wants the government to put in place a system where agencies and adoptive parents can get in touch and share their experiences, learning from each other.

It is not just birth parents who are getting in touch. Adopted children, especially if they are at the age when they begin to suffer angst and are looking to rebel, are logging on.

Another agency, Adoption UK, which supports parents who adopt, suggests adoptive parents be honest with children, and not allow their previous history to be seen through "rose-tinted glasses."

"First and foremost, we need to be more open and honest with adopted children about the reasons for their adoption and reality of the abuse and neglect they experienced within their birth families," said Jonathan Pearce, chief executive of Adoption UK.

"Currently such life story work tends to be a sugar-coated or rose-tinted version of what really happened," he added.

"Something closer to the truth will better protect and prepare adopted children for the destabilizing effects of unplanned contact, which often happens at a key stage in their adolescence."

(Reporting by Avril Ormsby, editing by Paul Casciato)

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Comments (2)
Adoption Agencies, Social Workers, Councils, Judges, Foster and Adoptive “Parents” should be very concerned about this, the mask is slipping on this evil system and a lot of people will be culpable when the truth emerges.

Adoptions are falling despite the best efforts of the Government. Adoptive “Parents” are starting to realize where these children came from. Not from broken homes or abusive or neglectful parents. If you want the truth look at Ian Josephs website Forced-Adoption.com or see what British MP’s Tim Yeo and John Hemming have said in Parliament, it’s on YouTube.

When the Blair Govt. (22 of whom were Social Workers) paid bonuses to Councils to get children adopted who were in “Care”, that’s not exactly what happened. Nobody wants to adopt the Baby P’s of this world or the older children, they want Newborns. 1700 newborns a year were removed from parents, the vast majority have never even been accused of child abuse or neglect, never mind convicted. Even Martin Neary, the Govt Mouthpiece on Adoption slipped up recently when he stated that there at least 30 to 60 children a year “Wrongly Adopted”, that’s 30 to 60 Gross Miscarriages of Justice a year folks, and that’s from the Government spokesman.

Adoptive “Parents” can lie to themselves by believing that these children came from abusive households, the facts state otherwise. It’s all a matter of public record except for what happened in the Secret Family Courts. Read Christopher Bookers articles, it beggars belief.

The UK are the ONLY country in the EU who take children and place them for adoption against the will of the parents. Google the case of Mark & Nicky Webster, Fran Lyon, Angela Cannings. UK citizens have been fleeing the country in their thousands to flee Social Services for the last decade to avoid their children being taken so that Councils can hit Government Targets. UK Government have recently started vigorously pursuing them around the World and have spent Millions to prevent the truth emerging.

What people seem to forget is that children grow up and now these children are meeting their real parents and finding out the truth. What they also seem to forget is that these children will make people pay for the damage they have done. Adoption is not the panacea it’s presented to be, One in Four Adoptions break-down and the child is handed back to to Social Services. Many Adopted Children are dumped by their parents at age 18 and the “Outcomes” for these Children are only slightly better than those in “Care”.

If you want to see how bad “Care” is for children, look at Joseph Doyle’s Study in Outcomes for Foster “Care” Children. He did a 12 year Scientific Study with a sampling size of 15,000 children and the Outcomes were absolutely DISMAL for these children, statistically, children always do better with their Birth Parents, even the supposedly “Bad” ones (who have never been convicted of a crime).

Everything I have said here is a matter of Public Record, no Conspiracy needed. Adoption Boards make £20,000 per child and Councils were paid even more to meet “Targets”. Solicitors made millions and even Childrens Charities made absolute fortunes on State Sponsored Kidnapping.

I hope the Children of Mark & Nicky Webster sue Lord Justice Wall. I hope all of these children sue everyone involved when they grow up. There are already DNA Databases of Parents who’s children were stolen for money. The Public are becoming aware and every stolen child will become aware. The Secrecy of the Family Courts does not apply to the Children, even though Jack Straw introduced Legislation to gag them. Every parent needs to learn the truth but it will all be exposed very soon.

Jan 07, 2012 2:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stphinkle wrote:
I think the adoption community will have to give the adopted child the real truth and their choice of contact at an earlier age and this may change over childhood. They will need to understand that sealing records at the courts may stop an adoptee from getting their real birth certificate or the birth parents getting the adopted child’s identity through the courts. But this doesn’t stop them from using other sources of info (such as social networking sites and online directories), and many of these sites are user created content (and on servers which are privately owned). This means that keeping them apart till 18 might not be possible and that there will be some 17 and under visits and reunions. They need to know what happened to them because this is the only way now of reducing contact with people who abused them. This doesn’t mean that some kids won’t forgive them though. Gag orders need to be shorter duration for high risk relatives and not issued at all for low risk relatives. Adoptive parents are going to have to take a positive view of the child maintaining relationships with some members of their former families as friends they talk to or visit occasionally. The secret surname till 18 thing has outlived its usefulness with the openness of the internet.

Jan 09, 2012 8:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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