Today marks the first day of National Adoption Week, which takes place from 18th-24th October in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The annual awareness week aims to find families for the children waiting to be adopted.

In England, National Adoption Week is led by a coalition of adoption agencies and key adoption stakeholders under the banner #YouCanAdopt.  

This year’s campaign aims to promote a better understanding of the different groups of people affected by adoption. Real life stories will be shared from adopted children, adopted adults, adoptive parents, birth parents, social workers, and families who have watched loved ones go through the adoption process. The aim is to provide an honest portrayal of modern adoption, showcasing many of the joys and challenges.

Adoption is the main route out of care for children who cannot return to their birth families. It can be transformative. Adopted children do better than children who remain in care, catching up educationally and socially and having a better chance of a brighter future.

Adoption provides the one thing that every child needs, over and above everything else, and that is a stable, loving family to grow up in. But adoption is not a silver bullet. Most of today’s adopted children have suffered violence, neglect and abuse in their birth families, with lasting impacts on their relationships, learning and health.

Adoption can be hugely challenging. It takes incredible strength, resilience and determination to become an adoptive parent and adoptive families need guaranteed, long-term support if they are to thrive.

We are calling on the Government to make a ten-year commitment to the Adoption Support Fund (ASF), which provides adoptive families in England with therapeutic support. 

We are also calling for thorough assessments for every adopted child before they move to their new families, leading to a detailed support plan that considers future as well as current needs, and a duty for adoption agencies to deliver the agreed support.   

Find out more about what’s happening across the UK as part of National Adoption Week: National Adoption Week 2021 | Adoption UK Charity

Laura Lehman, Communications Manager, Adoption UK