I have written about his before but I have just been speaking to a grandparent whom I have known now for several years, who quite by chance heard that her granddaughter had been taken into foster care, and then was told actually she had been adopted 2 years ago.

It is difficult for me to convey here the pain and distress that I listen to over the phone.

These are real people with the most tragic stories I have ever heard, they are not statistics in some glossy annual report, they are here now this minute, suffering so badly.

In situations such as this, grandparents should be able to support and help in any way they can, supporting the parent who may be having difficulties, to enable them to improve their parenting skills. Sadly of course there are cases that this is impossible to achieve, but grandparents should still be involved in life changing decisions such as these.

This grandparent would have been able to build a relationship with her granddaughter, to be a stabilising influence in what had been a very traumatic time for her, she was never given that opportunity.

What would you say to this grandparent?

I can’t say never give up hope, she says all hope is now lost, as indeed her granddaughter is now lost to her.

This is the 21st century and we have barbaric decisions being made on a daily basis, decisions that will have life long consequences.

Children who have been adopted believing that they have no family who love them, no family who wanted to look after them, it fills me with utter shame.

Jane