Want to Adopt? Review of new book by Helen Oakwater.


In March 2012 I reviewed Helen’s first book: ‘Bubble Wrapped Children – how social networking is changing the face of 21st century adoption’ . I commented then that I thought it did the book a disservice by apparently focusing on only one element of what was making closed adoption a trickier concept as electronic communications networks grow at exponential rate.  In 2012 I said this: – Sarah Phillimore

”Want to Adopt” New book by Helen Oakwater reaches #4 Bestseller on Amazon.


“Want to Adopt: how to prepare yourself to parent a child from the care system” is available to purchase now!!

What did you expect? Joy, satisfaction or sadness?


“This is not what I signed up for” I silently repeatedly. 

Maybe when looking at the self-inflicted cuts on my daughter’s arms. Possibly when another twenty quid disappeared from my purse or listening to more lies

Failure of long view in adoption is a strategic, economic & humanitarian mistake.


National Adoption Week is always emotive. The intent is to recruit adopters. Unsurprisingly some experienced adopters rant at the saccharine articles in newspapers, knowing that below the rhetoric is a deficit of ongoing, deep, appropriate support.

Beliefs drive Behaviour. Hear why on Facebook Live soon.


Ever wonder why adopted and foster children behave in apparently nonsensical ways? Why do they self-sabotage? Why do kind or constructive words fail to impact their behaviour? It’s because beliefs drive behaviour.

SANDY & TIM start in life.


Compare and contrast these two babies.

SANDY (Securely Attached Normally Developed Youngster) all needs met regularly.

TIM (Traumatised Infant Maltreated) neglected, ignored, hurt.

Mothers Day and Expectations. Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.


Last sunday I cooked my own meals, bought myself some flowers and uncharacteristically drank an entire bottle of wine and had a good cry.


Because yet again, on Mothers Day, I received nothing from the three children I adopted 25 years ago.

Don’t assume keeping a sibling group together is right.


Today’s Daily Mirror featured a sibling group of four looking for one set of adoptive parents.

I’ve read the article with increasing anger. The children had a chaotic background, but had settled in well  ….. blah, blah. Unlike prospective adopters; I and other adults experienced in parenting traumatised children could read between the lines. These kids are deeply damaged.



The boy who killed and mother who tried to stop him.


I hate being right.  The article in todays Guardian documents the massive steps a mother took to get help for her son. It was constantly refused (below the threshold). She pleaded. He killed. Two families and a network of friends shattered. Society incarcerates, while judging the behaviour disregarding the root cause.

“Adoption is no longer fit for purpose”. Someone has to say it.


Adoption is no longer fit for purpose”. Those are the sentiments expressed recently by many adopters and a few enlighten professionals. I’m independent, so I can voice it publicly. Many others can not.


How to Futureproof adoptive families from Facebook contact.


Yesterday I read a blog from yet another adoptive parent who’s adopted son is reconnecting with his birth parents. (Befuddled mum) It’s a scenario I have witnessed many times in the last eight years; watching hundreds of adoptive families grieve as their teenage rejected them and returned emotionally and/or physically to their birth family. Sometimes they stayed connected to their adoptive parents, sometimes they didn’t.

“Forced adoption” on Facebook in court.


Perspective!   This article highlights the complexity of issues when an infant is removed by the courts against the birth parents wishes. When such parents often feel they “own” their child they can’t see the bigger picture or childs perspective. “Forced adoption” is a big issue on social media with many grieving birth parents desperately asking for help to be reunited with children ‘stolen’ then adopted, their posted photos and details then put that child at risk.


The Gulf of disapproval

Beware the gulf of disapproval between those who “get it” (“it” being an idea, concept or innovation) and those who don’t. Seth Godin’s blog today is profound and elegant. The diagram is beautifully simple. (I love this guy).

Those who “get” the legacy of infant trauma, understand that the behaviour of a teenager (who experienced significant maltreatment in childhood) blasting out aggressively in the fruit aisle is probably fear or shame driven.


1 + 8 =

Just checking if you breath, smile and are not a robot! laughing