Monday, 8 November 2010

Fostering, adoption, smokers and legal kidnapping

The troubled question of whether smokers should be allowed to foster or adopt children in the city of Aberdeen has reached Michael Siegel, veteran blogger and critic of tobacco control. Siegel is a believer in smoking bans, but he deplores the tactics of the international tobacco control community and rightly castigates a complete ban on prospective foster and adoptive parents who smoke as contrary to the interests of children. He rightly points out that there are no other hard and fast laws governing the lifestyle choices of prospective foster or adopting parents, and that the first casualties of this outright ban on smokers (until they can show they have stopped smoking for 12 months) will be the children who need homes and families.

Is conflict about to break out between Aberdeen city council and the British Association for Adopting and Fostering (BAAF)? It would seem that we are witness a divergence of priorities here.

No comment needed really: refusing people who offer children a home simply because they smoke can't be defended, and is bound to exacerbate any shortage of families eligible to look after children.


As if the whole issue of children in trouble were not distressing enough, there seems to be increasing controversy surrounding the circumstances of children being taken into care. Smoking issues aside, this seems to be a story of authorities determined to stigmatise parents on the slightest pretext. Judging by the high number of comments, the story appears to resonate with many people.


Belinda said...

Another link from BAAF:

Anonymous said...

The social services don't want children placed with foster parents as they then lose control of that child and cannot indoctrinate the child with their communist tendencies. Keeping kids in care keeps the useless social workers in a well paid job.
Not only do they want to keep kids in care, they also do their best to take children away from their parents on false pretenses.
How long before the state can 'steal' ALL the children of smokers ?

Belinda said...


Smoking status is not the only or even the main reason that children are taken into care, according to this:, although it doesn't help to be a smoker in the current climate.

On the point of not wanting to put children up for adoption, you may have a point but it is more likely to be for money reasons: