The adoption process is full of paradoxes

February 27, 2013 7 Comments

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I have found another paradox in the adoption process. It seems it is full of them. First there is the cabin fever, and now it is settling the child after placement.

Maybe I am banging on about it too much, but I feel it is worth a mention.

If you know about adoption, you will know I am really talking about the same thing – not going out, and ensuring the child is settled. This means that we need a firm routine, it means being careful when leaving him (if only to go to another room), and making sure he is not out of his comfort zone too much at the start of the placement.

It also means restricting visitors – and here lies the paradox I am talking about.

I will pre-empt this by stating that this is by no means a dig at our social workers, and I am not trying to point the finger of blame at anyone, for anything. It is merely my observations with the adoption process as it is at the moment.

By restricting visitors to our house, we are protecting our son from a number of feelings, specifically him sensing that he is about to move, or be removed from our house.

At the beginning of the placement, it is vital that the child feels as secure as he can do. Ultimately, time is the main factor in this, but by ensuring that people knocking on the door is kept to a minimum we can help that feeling of security.

After placement however, the adoption process dictates that we have regular visits (once a week) from our own social worker, and the child’s social worker.

This seems like a huge contradiction.

Imagine what this is like for the child. They must have some kind of association of moving or being placed when they see the social workers, and now he is seeing them every week. What is so secure about that?

It is a double edged sword of course, and as we have seen before, social workers working within the adoption process are being pulled left, right and centre. I understand that they have to visit us, I know that they need to ensure the placement is going as planned.

The welfare of the child is paramount, and we have all seen the news. Social workers are the first to get it in the neck when a child comes to harm, or a placement fails.

So yes, the visits are unsettling, and the adoptive parents bear the brunt, but I am glad the social workers are duty bound, and quite frankly, I am grateful for their support.

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About the Author:

Andrew is an adoptive father, and stay at home dad. Having adopted his son in January 2013, he is a new adoptive parent, but well versed in the adoption process. He is a married, coffee drinker, Xbox addict, and a Marketing graduate. Andrew McDougall is an alias he uses to protect the identity of his adopted son.

Comments (7)

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  1. Considerer says:

    I guess as long as you’re able to reassure your boy in a way he understands, that’ll help things to normalise a little, despite the interruptions.
    Considerer recently posted..Slogging awayMy Profile

  2. Vicki says:

    It’s an interesting thought actually isn’t it? I guess at least the social workers are familiar to the children. It’s not like you’re inviting someone new in every week…and in some respects their familiarity is possibly comforting to the child.
    Like you say, their support is important for you too, and they’ll soon bow out anyway.

    Thanks for linking this up to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out x
    Vicki recently posted..Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 6My Profile

  3. Sarah says:

    I agree that this does seem some what contradictory and will create uncertainty for your little one. It is however important that the visits are made and they will reduce in time. If they have to go ahead, preparing before and soothing calming and reassuring after as I’m sure you are doing is best. To some extent take full advantage of this support now because it may be thin on the ground later.
    Thanks for linking up with the weekly Adoption Shout Out.
    Sarah recently posted..School DazeMy Profile

  4. Lindsay says:

    The way you describe it all sure does sound like a big contradiction! It’s interesting to read, here and in a few other posts you have mentioned, the training and what you are told (or maybe I’m assuming…?) to do post adoption – ie. limit going out, visitors etc. We were never given any direction or specifics from our pre adoption course here in Calgary Alberta (and quite frankly I have not much nice things to say about the things they did talk about either). Anyway, my point is, I think I have one, it sounds like the adoption system in England (you’re there right?!) is more organized and structured within the adoption system. And weekly visits from your social worker?! Do they actually do them weekly?! Ours are suppose to be monthly but it’s more like 6-8 weeks…and I think our worker is good! Haha. Thanks for another great post:)
    Lindsay recently posted..The Power of Kitty BrownMy Profile

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