British Association of Adoption and Fostering Just Updated Its Guidance On Vapers For the Better
Earlier this week a story broke that 13 adoption and foster groups in England would not allow a couple to adopt if either potential parent was a vaper. This was based on guidance set down by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering which advised that these groups treat vapers as smokers. In most cases, this meant that a potential parent needed to have abstained from vaping for 12 months prior to adopting.
The story caught fire when an actual couple that had passed multiple qualifying tests and screenings which found them to be moral, financially stable, and competent adults were told they couldn’t adopt because the would-be father was seen vaping. You can read more on that instance right here.
The story made it to media around the world and sparked debate over whether e-cig use was a bad enough thing to deny a child an adoption. In most cases, experts argued that e-cig use should not prevent someone from fostering or adopting. In addition to studies suggesting no discernible harm to vaping bystanders, it is hard to argue that a kid is better off not being adopted by a parent that is likely showing an effort to better themselves by quitting smoking through use of electronic cigarettes.
But already, the British Association of Adoption and Fostering has rescinded its guidance. In response to virtually immediate backlash from vapers, adoption advocates, and media, the group released a statement changing its mind on whether vapers were suitable adoption candidates.
From them: “At the next meeting of our Health Group Advisory Committee (HGAC), we will be recommending that agencies now consider e-cigarettes as different to tobacco cigarettes… Agencies should therefore recognise the low risk to children and not see the use of e-cigarettes as a reason to preclude foster carers or adopters purely on this basis. Each circumstance should be risk assessed on an individual basis.”
Honestly, its very likely the group forgot it even took this position until the topic was shoved in front of media this week. Even the social worker reviewing the denied couple’s case was unaware of her council’s position until she contacted others in her organization. One hopes previous adoption candidates were not already turned away based on this position.
It’s very likely this position will change across the board with such a dramatic flip from British Association of Adoption and Fostering — though some individuals councils might choose to be more difficult than others based on their view of vaping.
Let’s not punish them from making the wrong and ignorant decision in the first place. Let’s thank them from making the right decision it came time to do so.