Adoption UK - 50th Anniversary

Adoption UK 50 Years logoAdoption UK is 50! 

50 is a big milestone, and an opportunity to pause, reflect and plan for the futureFor 50 years we have supported, advocated, championed and been there for adoptive families around the UK.

Today our cause is as clear and compelling as ever; to secure the right support at the right time for the children at the heart of every adoptive and kinship care family.  

For Adoption UK, this all began in 1971, when Elvis Presley and The Jackson 5 were in the charts, a gallon of petrol was 33p and two adopters starting running a voluntary organisation from their homes, for adopted children with special needsAdoption has changed a lot since then, and so have we. 

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AnyaAdoption is a mass of contradictions. It is more complex, more challenging, more rewarding, and more demanding than we ever could have imagined when we started this process many years ago.

After years of fertility treatment and the incredibly good fortune of IVF working not once but twice, we always knew that we wanted to investigate adoption also. This desire was brought about by adoption being part of my own family’s story and always being seen in a positive light. It was brought about by the realisation through the IVF process that genetics aren’t what makes a family necessarily. And it was brought about by our desire as a family to do something positive.

I still believe adoption is positive. and that it fundamentally is the chance to give a child a home and stability they wouldn’t otherwise have. But it is also deeply painful on many levels and there has been the slow realisation that it doesn’t and cannot magically take away the trauma and hurt. It can only bring in a family to sit alongside that hurt and hold the hand of a child who needs it.

When my son achieves a milestone, begins to learn to read, swim or ride a bicycle the pride is immense. I am proud of him not just because he has achieved a new skill but with each new learning he has already had to work twice as hard as many other children just to get there. I am full of admiration for his determination and resilience but as with the other contradictions it is that resilience that also breaks my heart because he shouldn’t have to be.

Adoption for me is sitting and watching the RNLI programme together. He loves the danger, the excitement, the crashing waves and the scenes again and again of someone being picked up by the rescue boats and a group of people who are there to help.

They are some of my favourite moments together, sitting on the sofa cheering on the rescue boats. An exhausting, all-consuming picture of hope and triumph against the odds.

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