Daughters From Afar


20130329Emily Buchanan meets three families with children adopted from overseas orphanages. They discuss how they are grappling with the challenges of raising adopted children of a different race and culture in the UK.

She first met these parents, all of them white British, six years ago when making an earlier series for Radio 4 about families trying to adopt children from China. Back then, the families were going through the lengthy initial preparation and complex bureaucracy of the process.

In this programme she revisits them to hear the latest chapter in their personal stories. Between them, these transracial families now have adopted children from China, Ethiopia and the UK, with ages ranging from two to nine, and the parents are focusing on bringing up their children to the best of their ability.

They talk revealingly of the emotional ups and downs of adopting, with the complication of interracial adoption thrown in. They also discuss the attitudes of the authorities and those around them to their unusual families.

The themes brought out in the programme are especially timely given the government's recent proposal to make transracial adoption easier for those wanting to adopt domestically, a move which has alarmed some adoption experts.

Producer Jane Ashley.