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Sarah's story - Mother tells how her teenage son's adoption broke down

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Sarah* decided to share her experience in a bid to encourage as many people as possible to support our Fair Deal campaign for adoptive families in Scotland. 

We hope that Sarah’s moving story will encourage you to sign our petition, if you haven’t already, and promote it to family, friends and colleagues.

The campaign group 38 Degrees has also issued a condensed version of Sarah’s story to tens of thousands of its members.

Sarah said: "We were terrified that our 15-year-old boy, Jamie*, was going to end up dead or in prison, so we made the heart-breaking decision to return him to care.

We feel that Jamie, who we’d adopted as a baby, would still be at home had he received the therapeutic support we were all crying out for. We always knew he needed this because of his traumatic background and low self-esteem.

'Shattered by break-up'

We spent 10 years fighting for help, but effective post-adoption support is virtually non-existent where we live. It’s galling that this support would’ve been available had we lived in England – just 25 miles from our home in the Borders.

We found a psychotherapist who offers counselling to young people in England, paid for through the Adoption Support Fund. But we were ineligible as we lived in Scotland. She also has a private practice in Edinburgh but we were unable to afford the fees of up to £75-an-hour.

Jamie now lives permanently in a residential unit, costing thousands of pounds. He is again on a waiting list for therapeutic support.

He is deemed to be extremely vulnerable so will remain in care until at least 18.

We’re still in regular contact with Jamie but only see him at weekends as he’s a two-hour drive away.

We’re all shattered by the break-up of our family.

Future uncertain

Our adopted daughter has had to experience police officers coming into our home because Jamie kept going missing. He was also involved in drugs and theft and had developed an unhealthy fascination with knives.

The future feels really uncertain. I worry for my daughter who’s 12. I pray nothing goes wrong as there’s no support for her.

What happened to us must not be allowed to happen to any other family.

We’re now pleading with the Government to take this issue seriously and to give every adoptive family in Scotland the right to support when they need it."

* All of the names have been changed and the image is posed by a model. 

To support our campaign for a fair deal for adoptive families in Scotland please sign our petition.  

If you would like to share your story please contact our Comms Team at press@adoptionuk.org.uk or on 01295 752240.

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