A Facebook poll has revealed that 93% of those surveyed are in favour of scrapping the UK’s full, forced adoption policy and replacing the model with simple adoptions.
Simple adoptions allow children and their birth families to remain legally connected, and encourage meaningful, child-focused contact with biological parents while in the care of adoptive parents, wherever possible. Adopted children are able to keep their original surnames and can inherit from both families.
Under the UK’s current adoption policies, which feature a full adoption process, all ties between birth families and their children are severed when an adoption order is made.
While post adoption contact is possible under existing legislation, the policy behind the law is weighted heavily in favour of the adoptive parents’ wishes and wants, making physical contact almost unheard of in adoption cases.
France uses a two-tier system which features both full and simple adoptions, but since the 1990s, the number of simple adoptions have far exceeded the country’s full adoptions, making simple adoptions the most common form of adoption in France today.
Luxembourg, which also uses simple adoptions, only allows a simple adoption to take place where there are strong grounds, and if it offers advantages for the adoptee. Interestingly, the law in Luxembourg also requires that the adoptive parent must be at least 15 years older than the child, unless there are compelling reasons to permit otherwise.
The survey, which this site ran on Facebook, gathered 445 votes and found that 93% of those polled wanted to see the UK’s current adoption policies removed and replaced with a simple adoption process, while just 7% did not want to see the current full adoption policy scrapped and replaced with a simple adoption framework.
One poster commenting on the poll said, “I Don’t think adoption should exist. I think working with families so much better for the kids overall health wellbeing.”
Another poster said, “Adoption should only happen with the consent of everyone involved.”
And another commentator responding to the survey wrote, “In cases where the parents are either dead or doing life in jail and NO ONE else could have the child, I don’t see it as a bad thing. However, we all know it is being abused…. It’s horrific how something that I am sure was devised with good intentions, is being used to target the ‘lower classes’.”
Adoption, by law, should always be the last consideration in any child protection case but in rare instances where it is an appropriate course of action for a child, adoptions should be fully transparent.
In practice, that means each adoption plan must be highly tailored to each child to ensure birth family ties remain, and should be reviewed regularly and updated to reflect a child’s developmental needs.