Lack of information ‘a hidden problem’

The adopters planning legal action against two councils for not
providing enough information before their sons were placed with
them believe the problem is widespread.

Since their story appeared in the national media last week, Andrew
and Helen Hale from Worcestershire have received letters from
adopters across the country in similar situations. They believe it
highlights the extent to which lack of information to adopters is a
“hidden problem”.

The Hales claim the former Hereford and Worcester Council failed to
tell them that their two sons, aged five and two when placed with
them in the late 1980s after they were abused, were likely to
suffer from attachment disorders as they grew older. The condition
can cause abusive and violent behaviour.

During their teenage years, the boys became difficult for the Hales
to control. Both ran away, misused drugs and got in trouble with
the police. The elder son is now in prison.

The couple are to seek legal advice next week on whether to launch
a case against Worcestershire Council and Herefordshire Council,
which separated in 1998. Neither council was available for comment.

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