Adoption Week ScotlandAdoption Week Scotland 2021 was focused on the theme of ‘The Current Face of Adoption’ – so what better way to begin than with two events centring on the families and young people in the narrative? The week was preceded by a family event that welcomed over 100 attendees to a soft play centre in Edinburgh for two hours of fun, conversation and connection the weekend before Adoption Week Scotland kicked off. Our family events are always a highlight of the week – particularly when it’s been so long since we’ve all been able to be in the same room together!

The first event of the week itself has been equally as significant, if not more so. The morning of day one of #AWS21 we began with a very important meeting: young adoptees in conversation with Claire Haughey MSP, Minister for Children and Young People. The four adopted young people are participants in our #E Project – funded by The Promise to allow us to engage and empower care-experienced young people through a variety of different activities and events.

The young people ranged in age from 13 – 17 and shared very different experiences of adoption. They also shared different experiences of engaging with Adoption UK Scotland over the years in a series of events and activities that were part of the development of the #E Project today.

In the last five years we’ve been involved in supporting a series of different opportunities for adopted young people – from family and youth events including outdoor activities and theatre trips, to facilitation of consultation events on topics such as the UNCRC, Independent Care Review and the First Minister’s pledge to hear from 1000 care experienced voices. These events have given us the opportunity to hear directly from adopted young people about what issues are important to them and what activities they want to take part in.

During the meeting the young people involved had the chance to tell the Minister all about their previous engagement with Adoption UK Scotland, the highlights of their experiences – residential breaks involving raft building, bushcraft and fire making – and what they want to get out of participating in the #E Project – music workshops, film projects, the chance to have their voices heard and the chance to have fun, spend time with friends and make new friends with other young people with shared experiences. In among the conversation they also got the chance to ask some questions of the Minister, and to highlight issues they would like to see addressed. Conversations were had about education, FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), the importance of decision making for children and The Promise.

This meeting is just one opportunity the #E Project will provide for participants to share their views and experiences and to raise important issues before policy makers. The significance of it being the first of its kind, and of it taking place during Adoption Week Scotland, is evidence of how important both the project and voice of young people are to the work that we are doing in Adoption UK Scotland. 

We are hugely grateful to the young people for giving up their time and chatting to the Minister – and to all participants in the #E Project for helping us to shape our services and holding us – Adoption UK Scotland and all of our services – to account in Keeping the Promise for our community.


Fiona Aitken
Adoption UK Scotland Director