From Conservative Home
Birmingham City Council have published a survey
of adoption applicants. There are some sensible recommendations on some of the criticisms raised. So it is an interesting document and it is to the credit of the council that the research was undertaken and that it was published. Let's hope that action indicates a desire to change. Many of the concerns raised will not be unique to Birmingham.
But I'm afraid it does show the most widespread and horrendous prejudice in the council against adoption – at least hitherto. Those wishing to adopt a child seek to provide that child with a permanent loving home rather than being shunted around the care system. Those offering to adopt should be given every possible welcome and encouragement. Their applications should be pursued as a matter of urgency. I fear, to put it mildly, this has not been the experience in Birmingham.
There were several reports of adopters being told they would need to give up work. One participant left the process because of this.
We often hear about black children being kept in care rather than be placed with white couples – the refusal to allow "transracial adoption." In Birmingham children are also kept in care if there isn't a religious match. The report says:
One participant spoke of their experience of rigid matching on religious criteria. The adopter from an Asian origin, was very open to a trans-religious adoption (e.g. would adopt a Muslim child), knowing their own religion – Hindu – is not common amongst children waiting. However, they were told there was a low chance of a trans-religious adoption and an adopter of the same religion as a Muslim child (e.g. Somali) would have more chance of adopting them.
The adopter found this experience very frustrating, particularly given the low level of Asian adopters in the city, and stressed the similarities between their culture and that of many Asian Muslim children.
At the time of the Research, this adopter was still waiting to be matched after over two years in the process.
So far as the Kafkaesque preoccupation with "ethnic matching", the report said:
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