Book review: Adoption Undone – A painful story of adoption breakdown

Adoption Undone – A painful story of adoption breakdown

Rating: 3/5

Karen Carr

British Association for Adoption & Fostering ISBN 9781905664245

If you were in any doubt as to the difficulties faced when adopting a child from a disrupted background then this story about Lucy, a five-year-old with attachment difficulties, reveals the extent of the demands on the adoptive family.

The story is not particularly easy to follow and starts with the adoption breakdown and a court process and jumps backwards and forwards as different critical points are discussed.

The adoptive mother was training to be a social worker, the family had a birth daughter older than Lucy and another child was born while Lucy was in the household.

Social services come in for criticism, perhaps for failing to listen to family members when they were explaining its difficulties. A lack of early developmental information appears not to have been shared with the family. A lot of blame seems to be given to social workers through the whole process.

There are many books about adoption. This one shows that agencies must ensure they are thorough in their preparation and ensure all aspects of the child’s needs and those of their adopted family are fully discussed and understood before any placement goes ahead. The issue of contact, whether face to face of via a letterbox process, also needs to be understood by all involved.

Adoption breakdown is a painful process and this book highlights some shortfalls and clear messages for any families considering adoption.

Sarah Clayson, service manager for family placement, Oxfordshire Council

This article is published in the 22 January 2009 edition of Community Care

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