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Book review: ‘An inspirational must-read for everyone involved in adoption’

Adoption social worker Sandra Freeman reviews No Matter What – An Adoptive Family’s Story of Hope, Love and Healing by Sally Donovan Sally Donovan has written No Matter What to share the journey she and her husband Rob made, from when they first try to have a baby of their own, through their infertility and their […]

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‘It feels like adoption has been singled out as the head teacher’s favourite so all the cool kids must take against it’

Adoptive parent and author Sally Donovan asks how adoption has become such a politically divisive issue, with the ‘social worker-hating right’ now in agreement with the ‘Michael Gove-detesting’ left. “We need a system that aims to prepare pupils to solve hard problems in calculus or be a poet or engineer — a system freed from […]

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Highest number of adoptions since 1992, reveal government figures

The number of children placed for adoption has risen by 15% over the last year, according to the latest government figures. The annual Looked After Children Statistical First Release shows that almost 4,000 children were adopted between April 2012 and March 2013, the highest number recorded any year since 1992. Edward Timpson, children and families […]

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Working in adoption? Why not enter the National Adoption Week Awards

Do you work in adoption? Have you championed and supported an adoption service? Have you taken any photos that sum up adoption? Do you fancy going to a big party in central London? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, then you might be eligible to enter the National Adoption Week Awards. […]

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New ‘customer care’ standards promise more support for adopters

A new set of adoption ‘customer care standards’ have been developed – to ensure would-be adopters get a first class service when they enquire about adopting a child. Although the standards – endorsed by, among others, the department for education, the association of directors of children’s services and Adoption UK – aren’t exactly mandatory, they […]

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The Bridge and Broadchurch: Why do fictional villains so often have a back story of adoption?

As we all mourn the end of ITV’s Broadchurch, Sally Donovan asks whether the back story of one character is just the latest example of a fictional stereotype that casts adopted people as damaged, at best, and violent criminals, at worst Fiction devises its villains to shock and unnerve us, to make us question our […]

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Social work diary: ‘Dear media, matching children with adopters is NOT like speed dating’

Media sniping about adoption delays ignores the complex realities faced by social workers when finding the right placement for children in care, writes an anonymous social worker. Monday Newspapers carry stories of the lengthy time adoptions take, as if it were an easy process. This morning I visit the relatives of a baby in care. […]

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Potential adopters need nurture not negativity

Many potential adopters are often put off the idea even before the process begins. Sally Donovan, adoptive mother of two, makes a plea for social workers to be empathetic with those taking the first steps into adoption. You pick up the phone with a stomach full of nerves to make the first tentative enquiry. You […]

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Video: Why peers want adoption law to be updated

In case you’re interested, here’s the chair of the House of Lords’ committee on adoption legislation, Baroness Butler-Sloss, explaining why peers have today recommended that adoption law should be amended.  Most urgent is the need to update the children and families bill to make post-adoption support a legal right for adoptive families. Couldn’t agree more. […]

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‘Martin Narey is right, contact can be ‘frightening and destabilising’ for adopted children’

The government plans to change the law so that social workers no longer have a duty to promote contact between birth parents and adopted children. Is this a good thing? Sally Donovan gives an adoptive parent’s perspective. For some adoptive families, direct face-to-face contact with birth families, or indirect contact by letter, works well, helping adopted […]

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