The headline of Megan Agnew’s piece - ‘We had to hand our adopted child back, we had no choice’ (Sunday 19th June We had to hand our adopted child back — we had no choice | News | The Sunday Times ( – does her journalism a disservice. Her reporting of the challenges faced by adopted children and their families makes a strong case for more support. But very few adopters would use the phrase ‘hand back’ when talking about their child entering care following a Section 20 agreement. In these circumstances the adopter is still the child’s parent, and most families move heaven and earth to stay close to their child – as the article goes on to describe.

Our Adoption Barometer has consistently highlighted the struggle for support, but also proves that the right support at the right time can transform lives. Adopters in England can apply to the Adoption Support Fund, which pays for crucial specialist support for adopted children and young people. Most families who have received ASF support speak highly of the benefits to their children. Adoptees in the rest of the UK deserve the same.

It’s a shame the article does not include the voices of the real experts – adopted people. Until we listen properly to their views about the things that would really make a difference in their lives, we will continue to let them down. The Westminster Government’s National Adoption Strategy commits to putting adopted people center stage. It’s time to turn the rhetoric into reality. 

Yours faithfully

Mike Rebeiro

Chair, Adoption UK