Saturday, May 3, 2008

Adoption Adoption Adoption

In yesterday’s paper:

“Judges attack council over baby adoption”

“Senior judges have made an unprecedented attack on the "disgraceful" actions of a local council for rushing through the adoption of a child against the wishes of her father.

Lord Justice Thorpe said that East Sussex county council appeared more concerned with meeting a quota than the best interests of the family.”

Many will say that such adoption is of course in the best interest of the child. After over thirty years dealing with children and their emotional problems, I am never too sure if there is any foolproof way of placing children when such important matter such as parenting is involved. Some adoptive parents are extremely wealthy and well known world wide. Others are educated and in positions of influence and power. Do they make good adoptive parents?

We only need to look at one recent case in Hong Kong that hit World news:

“Diplomat 'dumped his adopted child because she did not fit in'”

Jade, a seven-year-old of South Korean origin, is the focus of an escalating dispute across two continents. At the age of four months she was adopted by a Dutch consular officer based in Hong Kong, Raymond Poeteray, and his wife Meta. But the couple have now surrendered Jade to the Hong Kong social welfare department for readoption, reportedly because the child could not adapt to Dutch culture.

The revelation has sparked protests amid claims that the couple were treating the child as if she were an unwanted present. She had been discarded like “a piece of household rubbish”, said the Dutch daily De Telegraaf.

The South Korean Consulate in Hong Kong said that Mr and Mrs Poeteray had complained that Jade was not adapting to Dutch culture or food. “That is the reason they gave for why they want to discontinue the relationship,” a South Korean official said.

This was met with incredulity. “They adopted her when she was a baby,” said Law Chi-kwong, a professor at the department of social work at Hong Kong University. “They are responsible for shaping the child’s mind and culture. How can you say that the child cannot adapt to the culture in which she was raised?”

Hopefully the child Lord Justice Thorpe talked about will fare better.

Adoption can go terribly wrong in other ways too. In Newsweek in December 2007 an article highlighted the problem of an adoptive mother serving a 19-year sentence for second-degree murder in a Virginia maximum-security prison.

Her story is awful—and rare—but sadly it is not unique. Adopting a child from another country is usually a positive, enriching experience for both the child and the parent. Over the last 20 years, foreign adoption has become more popular, and Americans now adopt about 20,000 children from Guatemala, China, Russia and other nations each year.

…… Since the early 1990s, the deaths of 14 Russian children killed by their adoptive parents have been documented.”

Russia has now stopped international adoptions.

But what was the reason for the rush in the UK case quoted earlier. Could money be the driving force?

It was reported that:

“Tony Blair set a
goal in 2000 for a 50 per cent increase in adoptions, to reduce the time children spent in foster care. In the last round of targets, councils were offered bonuses totalling £36 million for increasing the number and speed of adoptions.”

I decided to look again at the UNICEF
Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 3
2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.
Article 9
1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will…… Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.

In the East Sussex case:

“The adoption proceedings began while the father was in hospital after a heart attack, but as soon as he was fit he instructed a solicitor to write to the council and ask that he be allowed to care for his daughter. The council reacted by placing the baby girl with prospective adopters the day before a court hearing at which her father intended to challenge the adoption.
Lord Justice Thorpe said: The council's failure to answer that letter and subsequent placement on the eve of the hearing give rise to the clearest inference that the council was out to gain its ends by means more foul than fair.”

Strong words indeed. However, the April 7 blog of Dr Crippen warned that such intelligent and educated judges might not be around for much longer:

Successive Labour governments have destroyed the English secondary education system. They are in the process of destroying the university education system by compelling the universities to admit under qualified students from sink comprehensives. They are destroying the NHS by undermining the medical profession so that they can be replaced with poorly trained but cheaper HCPs. It is only right and fair, therefore, that they should also destroy the English legal system.
English judges have traditionally been highly intelligent and have been educated at leading Universities. New Labour does not like that. So they are proposing to allow judges to be appointed from the Crown Prosecution Service, that well known bastion of legal mediocrity.”

1 comment:

Amelia said...

That Dutch couple are not fit as parents. The child has been under their care since 4 months, it is up to them on how to mould the child. I cannot accept their excuses, I fear that the law will make them take the child back.