In this video, learn some tips, advice and invaluable knowledge for new parents, such as adoption.
Nina Sebastiane: In the UK today, there are 4,000 children waiting to be adopted. Many of them will never find a family because there are not enough people to adopt. Now I’m joined by Jonathan Pearce the director of adoption UK, and the Larry Baker he is 17, and was adopted when he was just 2 years old. Guys welcome to the show. Let me come to you first Jonathan. How difficult is it to adopt child in the UK? Jonathan Pearce: I’m not sure the difficult is the right way to approaching but it is a very involved in a complicated process and quite rightly said because adoption is predominately today about adopting children from the UK system or have to the history or experience of peace or neglect and so this though to be a rigorous system for assessing that they parents are right for the children that they there is nothing under alternate background and that there is a good match between parents and children. Nina Sebastiane: You say it from care as oppose to say 20; 30 years ago it wasn’t this way. Jonathan Pearce: Yes, that’s right. I mean over the course of the century but particularly from as suppose with 1960s, early 1970s onwards it changed from an adoption system that was focused on unmarried mothers, who have basically society didn’t approve of and they where either forced or persuaded to children for adoption. Now what happened in the past 30, 40 years is that’s become socially acceptable and this them all one parent families children are given for adoption purely because of being born out of wedlock and the focus is moved to adopting children form care system Nina Sebastiane: So, are there more children now then they where the in terms in the adoption -- I don’t really know the -- Jonathan Pearce: No, no I mean at it’s height probably around 1970 or so they are about 25,000 children a year being adopted and the movement it’s just started to increase but five years ago it’s about 2,000. Now it’s around about 4,000 in the UK. So, this about a long history to adoption in the way that it changes and it may risk either at this time was slightly behind what’s going on in society in social reflection society generally. Nina Sebastiane: Larry, you’re adopted at a very young age Larry Baker: Yeah. Nina Sebastiane: Weren’t you? Tell us your story. Larry Baker: And well, basically I was adopted around the age of 10. I well now adopted being -- Nina Sebastiane: Right. Larry Baker: And then basically I got adopted and be happy ever since. Nina Sebastiane: Do you anything about your birth parents or your background. Larry Baker: I know that my I think that what was I -- birth mother and I never know she looks like or what she would look like by then and I don’t know anything at all about my dad, and basically I know they detailed about my family. Nina Sebastiane: Well, you were actually 17 reading some of your CV I mean you’ve edited adoption UK magazine and adoption today I mean obviously you’re quite passionate about the subject, what is it that you want to get across to people who might be watching us. Larry Baker: Well, basically the fact that so many children out there and that no enough people come forward to actually even inquired about -- not knowing being less rigorous crisis as Jonathan said try he be a greater adult or even foster as they were Nina Sebastiane: Well, I now looking at my note here, and one of the things that’s absolutely stack at me some of the adoptions statics. Over 78,000 children in public care in the UK at the movement and after 4,000 across the UK waiting for adopt the parents, but for example it say in the year 2004, only 3,700 where actually found a home in the end you know. Jonathan Pearce: Yes, I mean that figure it is staggering one, there were around about 80,000 children in the care system. Nina Sebastiane: I’m just thinking of a stadium for kid – wasn’t awful amount of children. Jonathan Pearce: I’m however burdens -- how to deal with that. I mean most important to realize is that a lot of most children would actually end of going back home, and there are various reasons for them being to taken into care, and so social service is do a good job and we’ll generally always trying to rehabbed take children back with the birth parents because in an idea we’ll that’s where they should belong. No one really want an adoption in some respects and you know in perfect solution to an impossible situation. Nina Sebastiane: So who can adopt. Jonathan Pearce: There are very few rules around who cannot can’t adopted I mean basically you have to over 21, you can be well that the law is about to change in from 2006 onwards. You can either from that point you will able to adopt as a single person or as a married couple or as an unmarried couple you can be gay or lesbian. There is very few rules in terms of age limits. There is a fixed on age limit but most local authorities will start to stay that they want a gap of between 45 between the parents and child and so your age whether your age is in fact it will depend upon the child that you’re being matched with so obviously. You won’t slightly younger parents for a younger a child, but that you can stretch the age limits for older children. Nina Sebastiane: Now, I’m pregnant as you can see at moment of course a little girl but in my personal circumstances I have to get your idea for these pregnancies and then what the points were we though this may not work this possibly won’t welcome -- and adoption is something that we seriously considered but we were told you can’t be doing one and the other. Now is that right? Jonathan Pearce: Yes, that’s absolutely right. and for a good reason really you have get that the mind set of children for a likely to be up for adoption, and they will experience some form of trauma early in their lives through these will neglect at the birth, I mean let them be taken in to the care system. So the adoption agencies are going to be really focused on insuring that the parents so they match with them are committed to those children and not going to be distracted by something else. So if you are going through fertility treatment the agency will won’t see that you’ve been through it and if it hasn’t work then come to terms of that loss because as a loss for the parents as well and so they need some space between the end of the treatment and deciding to adopt as well. So that usually be asked to wait a year or so from the end of the treatment to go forward and so that you can be completely focus on the child because they want to make sure that these children have to be so many disturbances in the earlier lives something else is going to happen when that place for the adopted parents and so it’s really about the child best interest at end of the day. Nina Sebastiane: So somebody really want to adopt where do they start? Jonathan Pearce: Well I think the first thing that if you are considering adoption is to stop finding out information and you can do that through variety of sources I mean obviously you can come to adoption UK and we’ve a lots of basic information about the adoption process and what adopted parenting involves. We’ve a website where you can talk to other doctors or perspective adopters and I think that’s the key thing just start gathering information to start with the just see it if it might be for you, because there is a whole host of issues about the type of parents that needed for the children and the top of issues that might come up. Nina Sebastiane: When you are desperate for people to come forward? Jonathan Pearce: Oh, yes, I mean it’s in the house be that really increase in the number of adopted parents coming forward, but I think the statics is that about two one third of the children that for whom adoption is the plan, and never adopted until the plan has to changed, and that’s because the right parents although that they can’t be find for those children so they end up usually in long-term foster care and while that you know that is good upto a certain point they can never replace a permanent family which adoption is about it is a creation of whole new family. Nina Sebastiane: You use the point the right parents I mean children come in all shapes and sizes of course I know that there was a definitely a mental picture of many would be adopted parents so I suppose to sort of balancing baby that as soon as six months old and sort of you know in perfect form. That’s not always the case is it so? Jonathan Pearce: It’s rarely the case in facts I mean quiet often when people who interested in adoption first come four days you’re right that’s what they are thinking about. And that’s quite naturally especially, is we are talking a lot of perspective adopters come via the route of infertility, so they are very much focused on babies and part of the process of learning more about adoption is being assessed as coming to terms of the fact that you know you’ll not going to have your baby and there are not many babies that are in the care system and you are probably looking adopting an old child I think the last year, that there was statics filed were about 300 the children under the age of one when they we’re adopted so choosy and they are and so it’s all part of the learning process and this also different categories of children in terms of the age groups but also in terms of the ethic and racial background for about you know nothing is about 20% of the children in the care system are from -- background. So adoption agencies are particularly interested in hearing from adopters from those groups too because ideally they are trying make a very good match so that they needs of the child they represented in the parents and that they can it is you know an ethnic minority so that the parents can bring them up in that knowledge and in that culture and reinforce those backgrounds and interest. Nina Sebastiane: Okay, well Larry come back to you get quickly, you know you’re 17. So you’re coming after 18 which is the legal point I suppose you could find out about birth parents. I’m sure you have a lot of thought about it. What you are feelings of the moment. Larry Baker: Well, at the moment I’m going to plan where they where, I was think that may be get my education on the way and then actually start thinking about it’s actually because at the moment I’m just and aware trying around with the idea. Nina Sebastiane: And you’re quite happy as you’re -- Larry Baker: I am happy, no at the moment I was saying that to have been successful -- adopt the children finding their birth family and end age getting one with both their adoptive family and their birth family. Nina Sebastiane: I’ve reading your notes that actually you’ll adopted sister, how that a very good experience didn’t she? Jonathan Pearce: Yes. Nina Sebastiane: And finding her parents and you know keeping in contact with them. Jonathan Pearce: Yeah. Nina Sebastiane: Great. well, guys thanks very much for coming in to talk to us, is that anything else that if you have to said get across to certain people are watching and as thinking you know first of all you know I’ve always talked about doing it but you know never quite may be this next step what would you say? Jonathan Pearce: I would say talk to other doctors and find that more about they told you local authority adoption agency. If there are voluntary adoption agencies as well and I mean although it is complete, There is an overlap with parents if you like there is completely different aspect to it and that can be challenging but as an organization that work with thousands of adoptive families, it’s is also incredibly rewarding because you are helping with pair if you like a child who is experience some form of damage early in life and a lot of adoptions are incredible success story since now you have to listen to Larry here and he is done so much for adoption UK that’s you know some it’s just testimony to the hard work of Larry and also to the parents that children very challenging not Larry -- Nina Sebastiane: Absolutely, thank you so much for coming along to see us today. Jonathan Pearce: Thank you. Larry Baker: Thank you.