Harry Potter. Pip in Great Expectations. Cinderella. Lisbeth Salander in the Steig Larrsons Millenium Series. Batman. Lyra Belacqua in Philip Pulman’s Northern Lights . James Bond. Mary in The Secret garden. Peter Pan. Jane Eyre. Roald Dahl’s James in James and The Giant Peach. Matilda. Moses. Oedipus from Sophocles plays. Carrie and her brother in Nina Bawden’s Carrie’s War. The boys in Michael Morpurgo’s Friend or Foe. Alem in Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy. Oliver Twist. Tom Sawyer. Luke Skywalker. Voldemort. Superman. The X men. Cassie in The Concubine of Shanghai by Hong Ying. Celie from Alice Walkers The Colour Purple and Tracy Beaker.
All of these fictional characters, all these heroes, all these adventurers, all to a man or woman boy or girl who are hurt by their condition, that have spawned a thousand other books, a thousand other films, and whole genres throughout the twentieth and twenty first century, all of them are foster children, adopted orphaned. To put it another way they are children in care.
In my alternate real life I know of guitarists from famous bands, famous actors and Television presenters, top lawyers, brilliant authors television executives, magazine editors, national journalists, famous singers, millionaires, star novelists and Olympic medalists who were all children in care.
Many fear speaking of it – they have been taught as much – as if it were Kryptonite. As if to speak the truth of their backgrounds would somehow weaken their standing. Not English Actress Samantha Morton. Not I. (click here for part 2)