chapter
5 Pages

INTRODUCTION

The making of an Adoption Order by a Court used to be regarded as the final stage of the adoption process. While it remains a defining moment, it is now viewed as only one milestone in the development of a child in care who had needs before adoption, and who will have equally strong needs afterwards, possibly for the rest of its childhood and potentially through into adulthood. Adoption agencies are therefore required to stay involved and to support the adoption in different ways, for example by helping to formulate an education plan for the child (school matters!) and to ensure the resources are in place for it to be delivered, to arrange respite care, or therapeutic support (Lowe et al., 1999). It is a mistake to think that post-adoption services are merely about arranging contact or information exchanges between a child and its birth parents, or just staying in touch for the first year ‘until things settle down’, and then having a clean break. Life in many adoptions today is just not like that.