Adoption Open Records in the UK

A place to post news about adoption and openness, both past adoption and the oppressive secrecy surrounding adoption taking place in the Courts today This is is not an "anti-adoption site" it's not a "pro-adoption site", it is about the rights people involved in adoption in the past and those who are now or will be in the future

Monday, 2 December 2013

Woman's Baby Taken From Womb By Court Order

MP John Hemming is to raise the case of a woman whose baby was taken from her after she suffered a mental breakdown.

From the Telegraph which broke the story


It's something we will be hearing much more of when Sir Martin Narey ex CEO of Barnardo's and Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove (responsible for all aspects of child welfare including adoption) get their way

We will probably never hear very much more of what really went on here. But then because of the courts stranglehold on the press we've not heard much more about the Suffolk mother who had her baby taken at birth by Suffolk Social Services after a complaint by an Essex social worker who turned out to be the baby's father's ex-girlfriend. Or the couple in Essex who had their baby taken away because they "weren't intelligent enough to look after a baby" despite the rest of their family's commitment to look after the child. All we've heard is that Liz Railton ex-director of Children's Services at Essex County Council made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission that the press dared to write about those cases in a way that was critical of Essex Social Services. She went on to be Interim Director of Children's Services Self-Improvement at the Children's Improvement Board (CIB) before Gove did away with it 

I'm sure who has taken over that work now but from what has just happened with this case I hope some body has

Rialton was replaced by Helen Lincoln who has recently been promoted to "Executive Director for Family Operations" 

she was previously at Tower Hamlets which is not a good omen is it? It is difficult to even know who is now ultimately responsible for such decisions in Essex but she now "works closely with" Dave Hill who holds the statutory roles of Director of Children’s Services and Director of Adult Social Services 

So he'll be a very busy man, perhaps a bit too busy to really keep his finger on the pulse of what is  going on. They both get paid a fair old whack don't they? I'm wondering if they are worth it

It's not difficult to build up a picture of why it's all such a TFU (if you'll excuse the expression) is it?

No we probably won't hear much more officially, but this is all very local to where I am, I'll keep my ear to the ground for gossip


Monday, 14 January 2013

If you are searching...

If you are searching for your family of origin or for someone who has been
adopted in the UK the following website is your best starting point


Saturday, 14 May 2011

The whole nine yards, again

Thought I'd move this back up to the top as it's what this blog is supposed to be all

And, we have a new government in the UK since I wrote the original

I have the luxury of living in country where we adoptees have had RIGHT to have
a copy of our original birth certificate since 1976 (original in every respect
apart from having "Adopted" typed or written in the margin). Scottish adoptees
have always had that right since the first Adoption Act there in 1930, they can
now have their birth records unsealed when they are 16, the rest of the UK it's
18. If you were adopted before 12 November 1975 in England & Wales they try
to make you have some dodgy "counselling" with a social worker who probably
doesn't know much about what it's like to be adopted or to have relinquished a
child for adoption. I was one of the lucky ones who had access to the Adoption
Order that has my original name on it, so I could have gone to the Registrar of
Births, Marriages and Deaths in the area I was born and got copy any time I
pleased, so I did. It's always been up to the adoptive parents here whether they
give their adoptee the information that is on the adoption order I broke in to family document box and got mine when
I was about 8 or 9

But unamended birth certificates on their own are not enough are they? I always
wanted know the why and the wherefore of how I came to be adopted, why I'd spent
a year in a childrens' home where my strongest memories from the age 20 months
are the smell of piss, being put in one of those old green enamel baby baths
full of really cold water as part of potty training and being literally launched
through the air back in to my cot by woman with a tartan dress when climbed out
and strayed. Things I still remember more than 50 years later

I want to know about the foster parents my mother placed me with and why I
wasn't allowed to stay with them when they asked to adopt, instead of being put
in a Dr Barnardo's Home

I wasn't the first of my mother's kids to be adopted or put in care, I was the
seventh, yet she went on to manage to successfully raise a family after that, I
want to know why she and her children were treated in the way they were? I want
to know what happened to all of her other children, my brothers and sisters

I want to know about my father and his family, that's the bit I'm still working
on now, I managed get to most of the rest it by spending a lot of money with
lawyers and fighting like feck for the last 17 year to get it . You may think oh
they wouldn't have all that stuff still on record, but heck, they did, most of
it. And I'll keep on fighting. One thing that I think has also helped is shaming
Barnardos the agency involved, on the internet, they did a sudden U-turn when my
pages started getting up there with theirs and that site is still more
spin than substance, just like Barnardos the organisation still is

Heck 19 years, that's more than third of my life where a significant part of my
time has been taken up with trying to find out the things that I should have
known all along, who else than those of us who fell in to the hands of the
caring childrens' charities and adoption agencies of the past has to endure
that? How much have things improved, here in the UK, or elsewhere? Not enough, I
feel, from what I read in the press

Anyway, my question remains, what do we have right to know and what don't we?

You may also be interested in my other blog

Robin Harritt

This also appears on the Pound Pup Legacy


Monday, 12 April 2010

Restriction on publication of information relating to family proceedings

The Children, Schools and Families Act 2010 received Royal Accent 
on 8th April 2010

Part 2 of the Act deals with Family Proceedings and specifically with 
the reporting of cases in the Family Courts and the High Court

I can't see this legislation doing anything to allay the fears of those who 
are concerned about the unnecessary and often preposterous and 
pointless levels of secrecy in family proceedings

Robin Harritt


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England, United Kingdom