Despite adopting under a completely different system your article struck a chord with me, not the least because many, if not most, adoptions in the UK *are* essentially a witness protection scheme, with the child being under threat from the birth parents, at least at the time of adoption!

Although I think adoption is necessary when the child has no extended birth family support network (try making that transition from care without one, the stats aren't good), we need to be clear that it is just one stage on the journey of life and is is only done in those rare circumstances where there just isn't an alternative. It is not something that the adopted person should feel defines them, it is just a part of their history, and therefore just a part of their identity, not the be-all-and-end-all. An adoption certificate does not erase the birth certificate or the birth parents, just like a care order doesn't and a guardianship doesn't. It may feel 'false', but a new ID number doesn't mean that you aren't still you, it is just another phase of life. It is true that an Adoption Order cannot be easily dissolved, but then neither can any other arrangement of parental responsiblity either. In most countries you are emancipated once an adult anyway.

Adopted people don't consent to any of this, it is true. But then children don't consent to having their birth parents as parents either, or consent to a care order, or a guardianship. Getting the balance right to protect the child is something that all countries struggle with.



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