We have been discussing and mulling over our last adoption meeting. I wrote this quite late last night, to get it off my chest and I have been debating whether or not to post it.
It has transpired that the information B has had to give regarding his work-related travel over the last fifteen years is not specific enough.
For each theatre tour, he has been asked to write down precisely where he stayed.
The adoption agency then pass that on to International Social Services and/or the Criminal Records Bureau / Interpol, who check that he has not got a criminal record or come to the notice of social services in any of the countries he has listed.
For some countries, that is not good enough. He has to apply in person at a UK police station designated by them and have his fingerprints taken in full, to match against their database.
This is ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous.
Well, for a start, it is only work-related trips that they check up on. So if someone has been taking kiddy-fiddling trips to Thailand regularly in their summer break for the last twenty years, that slips under the radar completely.
And secondly, this is all by voluntary disclosure. So if we had not initially been so thorough and honest in our list of places that he has worked to the adoption agency, then we would not be jumping through these hoops. Or, as B has just said, jumping through the eye of the needle.
How can you remember the name of the hotel you stayed in for one night fifteen years ago? Or even it's street? Or the date?
We understand what they are trying to do and why they are trying to do it.
But it is SUCH an intrusive process.
And so much of it seems to lack checks and balances - the fact that the disclosure is essentially voluntary makes a mockery of it and of people who are honest with them.
Because I was honest about my past abusive relationships, that is going to make things more difficult for us. It seems like I will need to go in to more depth about them for the benefit of this panel of people I do not know, who's job it is to make a judgement upon my history and my choices.
Because B was honest about his work history, his fingerprints will go on record with a number of countries, to be matched against their criminal records database.
If we had kept quiet, these things wouldn't have happened.
Honesty is very important to me and therefore I think we have done the right thing. But speaking about my past relationships, even at the depth I have already; I feel as if I have been exposed, naked in front of strangers. It's horrible.
Also. We have been told that really, despite our self-evident difficulties with conceiving, we should be using contraception at this point.
We are expected to commit fully to the agency and put all of our faith in their ability to deliver a family to us.
Whilst on the other hand, we are supposed to lay our lives before the Board; revisit past pain or foolishness; demonstrate that we have learnt, grown, moved on, have appropriate reactions to all these things we've experienced; lay any slim-to-none remaining hopes of natural conception aside; and wait, to see whether they deem us SUITABLE.
Perhaps this period of anger at the intrusiveness of the process is something everyone goes through.
Don't get me wrong - our worker is behind us. She says that she thinks we have a lot to offer. And, I repeat, we do understand why this has to happen - things that have happened to us in the past impact on how we behave now; and on how we will react to the children who are going to be placed in our care. And because the children are at the centre of everything, these things need to be exposed.
These are the things one has to do to make it happen.
Boy On Top - you said a few weeks ago that you were interested in this process, because your friend was going through it and didn't want to speak about it.
I can see why.
Today, I feel somehow soiled.
Technorati Tags: adoption