We campaign with adoptive families across the UK to make change happen for the better. The knowledge and experience of our 8,000-plus members is invaluable for decision-makers such as MPs and those at the forefront of health and education policy. We engage with politicians from all parties and from all parts of the UK. We support research, publish case studies and contribute to empirical evidence surrounding adoption in the 21st century. Increasingly, we will be engaging our members and the wider public with actions they can take themselves, and ways to take campaigning into their own hands.

We are proud of our UK-wide reach, and have offices and staff in all four nations, engaging with the devolved governments and advocating on behalf of adoptive families, wherever they live.  For more information, visit our nations pages: Northern IrelandScotland and Wales.

The right support

Research shows that at least 50 per cent of adopted children have a diagnosable mental health problem, as a result of trauma, neglect or abuse experienced in early life. Too often, these children are poorly understood and their needs remain unmet. So we are calling for mental health assessments for all children upon entering care, and regularly thereafter. We also want adopted children to be a priority group in Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 

Many adopted children require ongoing specialist support. Across the UK, the level of support for families differs. In England, the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) introduced in 2015 has become a lifeline for many adoptive families, and Adoption UK has helped to secure an additional one million pounds of funding through the ASF. However, two thirds tell us their needs are greater than the funding available, and there are real problems with the way the Fund is organised. In Wales, the National Adoption Service provides a level of post adoption support. There is no currently no equivalent support for adoptive families in Northern Ireland or Scotland.

Read our CEO’s blog about the mental health crisis facing adoptive families

An equal chance in school

For children who have had the worst start in life, school should be a place of safety and opportunity. Yet adopted children are 20 times more likely to be excluded from school than their peers. 79% of adopted children told us they are confused and worried at school. And in England, only a quarter of adopted children achieved 5 good GCSE grades in 2016 compared to 53% of their peers. Across the UK, we need better data, better training and more involvement of adoptive parents, who are the experts on their children.

Soon we will launching a new campaign to give all traumatised children an equal chance in school. We’ll let you know how you can get involved.

Meanwhile, take a look at our CEO’s blog about the ongoing government review of school exclusions

Many schools are already working hard to give great support to adopted children and other children who have experienced trauma. Adoption UK can help! There are lots of benefits of becoming a schools member of Adoption UK. Read more here


Read more about Adoption UK's campaigning: Campaigning Record        Consultations