Thursday, October 27, 2011
From the Guardian:
'Adoption parties' went out of favour in the UK in the 1980s. Critics said they were 'cattle markets' for kids, and new family-finding methods were tried. But as figures this week reveal a drop in placements, it could be time for a rethink...
Next week, somewhere in the Midlands, around 30 children and 30 adults will meet up for a fun afternoon of circus skills, craft activities and soft play. To the casual onlooker, it will probably look like any other kids' party. There will be invitations, balloons and party bags, lots of laughter and running around. But if you were to take a closer look, you might begin to sense that this was no ordinary children's party.
This is in fact an "adoption party", a pilot project in the UK for children in care for whom all other family-finding methods have failed. The adults are either approved adopters or well into the process of approval, while the children all desperately need adopting. Neither the adults nor the children have met before, but the hope is that once they do, connections might be made.
These parties are controversial. They have been described by critics as "cattle markets" and "shopping expeditions". But they have formed part of the adoption fabric in the US for decades and in some states the matches made at these events represent almost half of all placements.
Read more here.