Newsnight reporter Tim Whewell this week explored The Other Side of Adoption, in a Radio 4 programme exec-produced by Journalism lecturer Clare Jenkins.
In the 40-minute documentary, Tim talked to the children’s minister Edward Timpson – who has two adopted brothers himself. Listeners also heard from parents of adoptive children – and an adopted child – who described instances of abuse, violence, self-harming and other self-destructive behaviour.
One couple talked of how their children’s behaviour brought them to the brink of divorce. “All children test their parents, but the level of testing we went through was incredible,” they said. “We’ve come out the other side – but there was a period three or four years ago where we were tested almost to destruction.”
All the families urged the Government to provide more support for families post-adoption. “Because you are struggling, you are not a poor parent,” said one mother. “So shout from the rooftops for the help that you need because you absolutely deserve it.”