28th February 2012


intr.v. de·spaired, de·spair·ing, de·spairs

1. To lose all hope: despaired of reaching shore safely.

2. To be overcome by a sense of futility or defeat.


1. Complete loss of hope.

2. One despaired of or causing despair:

Despair is a strong feeling for me at the moment. It’s not just about adoption issues it’s life in general. However it’s an emotion that I won’t let get the better of me. Life can get better and is better usually.

Adoption is a subject in itself. The only way to change people’s mind on the realities of adoption is to be pro-active. It can be a lonely fight at times. It’s one thing educating someone but it’s a different matter trying to get your voice with the authorities that can make real changes in the adoption field. Today’s attitudes to adoption is generally that one abused child is one too many, one child killed at the hands of their parent or another adult is one too many. I completely understand this point and agree with it.

The other side to this are the children who are removed and social services can make a plan to return the children to their parents or allow regular contact. Don’t get me wrong not all social workers work to get children adopted. There are the ones who really do care that children either return to their parents or if that isn’t possible then their interests are put first.

There are times parents need help and support so they should get this without the fear that their children are adopted. Others have false allegations made against them which is proven but they still don’t get their children back. It is actually cheaper to keep families together than for children to be in foster care. The older the child the more likely he or she will age out of foster care. This costs thousands of pounds for just one child.

A couple of years ago my husband and I helped a relative of his with regards her two youngest children. Somebody had reported her to the NSPCA so social services were involved. We were involved at the point that if she refused to let a social worker in her home her children would be removed.

The house was in a terrible state and so bad that we couldn’t get any volunteers to help us. Eventually the landlord was involved and he evicted the relative. She was already living with us and so was her youngest son. The other son spent his time between us and his dad. Social services were supposed to inspect both homes to make sure they were safe environments for the boys. During the three month period they were homeless nobody visited us or the dad. She eventually rented other house.

The social worker she had was nice after the initial couple of meetings. She found out that we knew enough about the law and that we wanted the relative to co-operate with social services. I would like to see more social workers willing to involve extended families. Social workers, in general, do seem to be damned if they don’t involve extended family and damned if they do. So much can be learned from doing this.


About Philippa

I am married to Rick and we live in a small town in County Durham. We have two dogs, a cat and two budgies. I am also an adoption survivor. In 1981 my son was born and I was then forced to surrender him. It took 23 years and reunion for my to find out that my son's adoption was legally known as a forced adoption and illegal but social workers got away with it because mothers didn't know their rights.
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