Monday, 7 May 2012

Don’t listen to the Daily Fail

This blog is being typed with hot and angry hands. Not because my kids have poured my favourite perfume down the sink or cleaned our new car with rocks, it’s because I have just read an article on adoption in the Daily Mail. I am furious. Have you read this tripe?

You see, what if you were/are a prospective adopter, someone who has struggled with fertility perhaps or is simply thinking about it as a way to create your family, this article could stop you in your tracks. I’m furious because it’s so bloody inaccurate! Local authorities and agencies do sometimes have their own ways of working and can be mildly different from each other but they all have to adhere to the same guidelines and I think I understand enough about it to be able to rant in this blog.

I am an adoption panel member for a local authority and have been for two years. I read those very heavy yellow pages sets of papers and help the panel come to a decision every month. If a child with an unusual or highly recognisable name comes up then sometimes we actively recommend they consider a change to protect the child’s identity. If you’re talking about a baby, you can introduce a new name gently and they will become used to it. Obviously get a 4 year old with a tricky name then it needs more consideration but you are adopting a person, a child, not a name that will embarrass you when you enrol them at baby yoga. The article was so unashamedly aimed at the middle classes it was thoroughly insulting to many who have considered adoption or have adopted. Your children’s friends don’t have to be called William and Henry!

This was badly researched, highly sensationalist, wholly inaccurate and actually damaging. The girl called Chardonnay they talked about in the article is, in my opinion, very likely to be fine and will find a loving family who will give her a tremendous life. They are playing us, the readers. Pulling our heartstrings and trying to get us to think the whole process is in ruins and best avoided. Well I can tell you it is not.

If you want to do you have to go for it. The process is nothing like as bad as they say it is. Read my previous blogs to find out what I think about that. As for letterbox contact, well, I don’t like it and don’t agree it’s beneficial for any party but still, their view is wrong. Children never get to write directly to their parents. Ever. It’s like prison mail and gets checked before being passed on. The Daily Mail is putting frighteners on people.

There. I said it. I said it quickly and with a hot head. This might not be my finest blog but it is one of the most passionate. Now I’m going to watch a DVD with my beautiful children and try and forget all about the Daily Mail. You should too.


  1. And you say so eloquently (even in anger ;))what so many adopters are thinking. We had a Twitter chat about this yesterday and the general consensus was one of annoyance. I personally found the comments insulting and cursory in nature. I hope it doesn't put people off. Thank you for posting this.

  2. I've been unable to organise my many angry, offended and upset thoughts enough to write them down. Thank you for doing it for me, and so eloquently!

  3. We don't call it the daily hate mail for nothing. No matter the subject they are likely to be dangerously inacurate and damaging

  4. I read this article and circulated it in anger on FB and Twitter. I couldn't bring myself to comment on it as I was too angry and it was too inappropriate. There are insufficient adopters enough in this country without targetting the ones who do put themselves through the gambit to get through the adoption process and actually become adopters. We actually don't have any friends called "William" and "Harry" and even if we did, what does that matter?

  5. You're absolutely right. It was an infuriating article that is 100% inaccurate. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to feel annoyed about it! Hopefully it will be forgotten and not put anyone off.

    Thanks for your comment.

  6. I was furious when this article was published by the Daily Fail. Sensationalist journalism as is par for the course for this paper.