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June 28, 2021
We were delighted to be invited to join Thia Cooper on her Stony Radio show, Thia’s Chatty Charity Show. You can hear the full recording of the show here.
We spent a whole hour with Thia, talking about the work we do at St. Francis, how the adoption process works and the ways that local people can get involved and support our work with vulnerable children and their families.
Thia is an adopter herself, having adopted two children almost forty years ago. She very candidly shared her own experiences of the process as it was back then, and it was interesting to draw parallels and see how things have changed.
Amongst other things, adoption support in the early 1980s was certainly less extensive than it is now. Once Thia took her daughter home, they were able to call their social workers with any issues, but were otherwise just checked on occasionally. Anju spoke about the importance of adoption support to help children settle into their new families.
“For the benefit of some of your listeners who are trying to understand what it must be like for a child… All of us have probably at some point in our lives lost somebody that we love – a grandparent, a parent, a best friend, a sibling. If you can recall what it was like to grieve for that one person, those emotions are so raw. But for a child who’s taken into care, they lose a multitude of people…”
“Eventually they’re adopted and that’s hopefully the last move they’ll ever make, but all children will suffer with some sort of attachment issue, because they won’t trust the adults… Some of those children will feel, ‘I’m rejected, I’m not good enough’. They’ll feel shame, they’ll feel guilt, they’ll blame themselves, when it’s not their fault. And all of those emotions will come out in their behaviour in some way or another. So we support adopters to try and understand what’s going on for their child so that they can be more appropriate in their parenting to help them through that journey.”
Thia asked about the rules for adoption, and Vicky busted some of the myths. “There are a lot of myths out there, and I think a lot of people assume they wouldn’t be eligible to adopt. There are a few rules such as you need to be over 21 and you need to have a spare bedroom in your home. But you don’t need to be a homeowner, you could be renting…”
“You could have children already or could be childless, you could be married or in a long-term relationship, you could even be single. You could be heterosexual or LGBTQ+. In terms of age, you need to be over 21, but there’s no upper age range – as long as you’re in good health and could support a child into their adulthood, then you’ll be considered. And people from any religious or cultural background or faith will be considered – we work across the board. There are very few things that would completely discount you from adopting.”
It was an hour of great conversation about adoption, so we hope you’ll take the chance to listen to the show here.
Stony Radio is a family-run, non-profit online radio station which brings information and music to local residents within Milton Keynes. Visit their website and listen live here.