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Guest Post – Adoption & Drug Users

Firstly, thank you very much to Scottish Mum for letting me guest post on her blog.

I wanted to write something relevant to her readers and I wasn’t sure which route to go down. However, I was listening to a debate on a radio show the other day about adoption and the lengthy process it has become and how this in itself is causing more potential trauma to children in care and I thought this seemed a good topic.

According the BAAF statistics, from April 2010 to March 2011, there were 3660 children under the age of 1 in care. Yet, only 60 babies under 1 were adopted in the same period. The average age of a child at adoption is 3 years and 10 months. To me, this seems rather old to have such a massive change of circumstance. They will have started at nursery and be not far off starting school by that age. If children were placed earlier in their lives, surely there would be less risk of them being scarred mentally by the whole process.


Whilst the adoption process is long for prospective adoptive parents, it needs to be, to ensure that the right number of checks have been carried out, and steps taken to prepare those wanting to adopt. However, the court process to get a child into an adoptive family is what seems to hold the process up. The reason for this is that the court puts the mothers needs above that of the baby. Whilst this is reasonable (they might be able to look after their children once they have dealt with issues), what kind of impact is it having on the child? What, I thought, about the babies born to drug users who are unable to look after their baby? Well, it appears that the interest of the mother comes first in these cases too. The courts will keep the baby with the mother (or in foster care) whilst the mother sees if she can ‘get clean’.

Now I may be cynical but, having worked with drug users (and previously covered the topic on my blog here), I have never once met someone addicted to drugs who didn’t put the next hit before everything else in their lives (however much they insist otherwise). So should the interests of these babies not be taken into account? They have potentially already had a rough start in life, like many babies born to drug users, they might have already had to withdraw from the drugs passed to them in the womb by their mother. How many times does a baby or toddler need to be taken into care whilst the mother ‘gets clean’ and is then returned to the mother only to be taken back into care when she falls foul to addiction again?

Research by Drugscope back in 2003 suggested that there were between 250,000 and 350,000 children born to drug misusing parents. With the numbers of drug users rising year on year, the number of children affected is increasing. The only way to stop this, is to offer effective, realistic treatment to the parents.

Whilst I appreciate that there are drug users out there who desperately want to stop taking drugs and will do anything in their means to make sure this happens, they really are the minority. Unless the mother moves away from her current situation, contacts and friends, she will find it all too easy to slip back into the old habits. It is possible to beat addiction and fight for your children, as the article here shows. 

I am absolutely not advocating snatching babies from drug users as soon as they are born, but maybe the balance needs to sway towards what is best for the baby. The first three years of their lives are so valuable in how they are shaped as individuals and how they judge the world in the future.



Written By
@helpfulmum from You”re Not From Round Here





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Bloggers Adoption Group on Brit Mums



Brit Mums have had a facelift.  Formerly known as British Mummy Bloggers, they have updated and extended the facilities they have on the get together site for those of us who live and breathe in the blogosphere.

I have set up a new group on Brit Mums for bloggers who have an interest in adoption, or would like to support those who are affected by the issues surrounding adoption.

There must be quite a few of us Adoptive mums (or dads) (or grown ups with their own children). Even those of you who have questions you always wanted to ask, or just if you want to give an adopter some support on the parenting front.  Everyone is welcome.

I suppose with 3 children, I am in the almost veteran category of adoptive parents, and it can be hard to talk about our issues among non adoptive parents.

Perhaps there isn’t a need for a group for us, but if there is a mum / or dad / or child out there who wants to talk about adoption in any form, I will be around, and hopefully there will be others who feel confident enough to put their hand up and join us for the occasional chat when they need it (or even when they don’t).

Anything adoption and blogging related is welcome.  At the moment, I am billy no mates in the new group, and I’d love a few of you to pop over and join me in saying hello, and perhaps opening up the area of parenthood that is often silent in the blogging world.

Join me by clicking on Brit Mums HERE.