On Adoption

I had no idea it was National Adoption Week until last night. Reading  this, from constant tweeter @_millymoo, brought it to my attention. I also realised it is a while since I have done an opinion piece.

Now I can’t make time to do researched, thought-out articles, like Milly’s, in areas I have no direct expertise. I also hate “opinion” pieces generated from anecdotal evidence. (Frankly, in preference to the 3 Rs, I would rather schools tried to teach that a formed opinion requires more basis than a single, supportive experience.¬† This might have the added bonus of reducing the amount of “sPekE you’re Branes” type guff which now forms such a large part of life).

We are however immersed in Care work at JRS, be that on an SQM/Lexcel fieldwork level or via the Costs Drafting throughput. Care lawyers, and the late Steven Switalski in particular, were also my exemplar of excellent, nuanced client communication, when training on Peer Review. A letter of his, to a child just freed for adoption, remains one of the most moving pieces of correspondence I have ever read.

My anecdotal experience of adoption is also quite wide and very varied; the friend, now with two kids, who found the approval process “very demanding”, through to the former client, who’s haunting phrase “they never told us about the potential severity of per verbal abuse”, again has stayed with me for long years. The latter was at a point where, even as an experienced Criminal Defence lawyer, he had “lost” his daughter in the Penal system.

Like most people I also have successful, contented friends, and we have client, legal professionals, who are glowing adverts for adoption.

I do however know that the process is, properly, ponderous and is not infallible.

Much like the political commentary on LASPO this week I am very taken by how shallow current political discourse is, especially when it is a senior coalition member talking “outside their brief”. I mention LASPO because, despite Public Law remaining within scope of Legal Aid, these 2 topics are inextricably linked. If the unstated aim of reducing the Legal Aid supplier base is achieved, this will have a generational impact upon the future Swits of this world. A sure fire way not to achieve Mr Cameron’s stated aims.

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