Politicians in Scotland from across the political spectrum came together to recognise the societal impact of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) ahead of international FASD Awareness Day.

The debate was led by the SNP’s Kenneth Gibson, who emphasised the lifelong impact of FASD and the devastating consequences it can have for individuals when early diagnosis and support are not available.

Mr Gibson praised the work of Adoption UK, describing the organisation’s FASD Hub in Scotland as a “lifeline for the parents and carers who need that vital support”.

Rona Mackay (SNP) reiterated the importance of diagnosis and early intervention for those living with FASD. Quoting the forthcoming Adoption Barometer report, she revealed that more than half of children wait two years or longer for a diagnosis. And 78 per cent of parents whose children were diagnosed didn’t think healthcare professionals were knowledgeable about the condition or its various presentations.

Labour’s Monica Lennon emphasised the struggle many parents face in trying to navigate the health and social care systems in order to secure the right support for their children, concluding that “we must do better”.

Speaking on behalf of the Scottish Government, Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd also praised the work of the FASD Hub. She said it had delivered “highly positive results” since its establishment.

Todd also referenced Adoption UK’s ‘I can’ campaign and its focus on celebrating the successes, talents and achievements of all those with FASD.

Reflecting on the campaign, she added: “What are we missing out on as a country and a nation by not providing the correct help and support to enable these individuals to thrive?”.

Watch the debate.