Inside Adoption: a parent's story
Adoption has changed hugely in the past few decades. These days, most children placed with adoptive families are not babies; by the time they meet their new parents they may have been exposed to a range of traumatic experience - in utero, within their birth families and within the state care system. Exposure to drugs or alcohol in the womb and abuse in early childhood are increasingly known to have significant effects on a child's psychological and relational development. The effects can endure throughout the whole of their life, regardless of the loving care and stability they receive in their adoptive home. This poses very real challenges for people stepping forward into the role of adoptive parent.
Unlike most books on adoption, Inside Adoption is written by someone who has both worked within the adoption `industry' and is an adoptive parent himself. Philip Teasdale describes here his own experience, along with his wife Anne, of adopting Jemma as a baby. This is the story of the difficult and traumatising years that followed, as they struggled to provide a loving home around their emotionally volatile and often violent adoptive daughter. It also describes the failure of the statutory services to provide support for the family and psychological help for Jemma to enable her to manage her personal demons and impulses. Teasdale brings to this first-person account an insightful analysis and critique of the adoption process as it has developed over the past two decades, highlighting its abject failure to acknowledge significant social trends in any meaningful way. There is, he argues, still too little funding going into the post-adoption period; adoptive parents are still left to sink or swim as best they can, while the statutory agencies tick the box for another child `placed' and wash their hands of further responsibility.
Chapter 1 - Small beginnings
Chapter 2 - When love is not enough
Chapter 3 - Caring for Jemma
Chapter 4 - Success and failure
Chapter 5 - The trauma contagion
Chapter 6 - It's all in the relationship
Chapter 7 - Dreams, risks and realities
Chapter 8 - Adoption and the system
Chapter 9 - Life after adoption
Chapter 10 - A better way to build lifelong families