Adoption UK - 50th Anniversary

Adoption UK 50 Years logoAdoption UK is 50! 

50 is a big milestone, and an opportunity to pause, reflect and plan for the futureFor 50 years we have supported, advocated, championed and been there for adoptive families around the UK.

Today our cause is as clear and compelling as ever; to secure the right support at the right time for the children at the heart of every adoptive and kinship care family.  

For Adoption UK, this all began in 1971, when Elvis Presley and The Jackson 5 were in the charts, a gallon of petrol was 33p and two adopters starting running a voluntary organisation from their homes, for adopted children with special needsAdoption has changed a lot since then, and so have we. 

Contact us at [email protected]

Cara and FamilyThere are many reasons people choose to adopt. For us it was because we couldn't conceive. We knew we wanted a family and after two failed cycles of IVF we decided to adopt. We aren’t heroes.

Two weeks before we were due to start our adoption training, I unexpectedly got rushed to hospital with an ectopic pregnancy. Today we are both firm believers in fate. Had that ectopic not happened we would have found different children’s profiles. We wouldn’t be our family.

For the process to work you must be real. Sifting through profiles of children. The photo of the boys struck us immediately – more specifically a 2 ½ year old, cheeky, Lucas. We attended an adoption ‘event’ – so many profiles, so many siblings.

“I think you need to sit down”, the social worker said… When our social worker told us there was a baby girl, their sister, I knew that was it, no turning back. We had always spoken of adopting a sibling group – it made sense.

Bez was more practical, pointing out our small car, small and rented house, not enough room anywhere. Plus, he was due to start his first teaching position. What if she changed things, what if the dynamics didn’t work? 

As he still says today, “she is the glue”. She is free spirited and wild, with the biggest heart. She makes us complete. An instant family. 0-3 children overnight. We bonded and it instantly felt right.

Saying goodbye to the foster families was incredibly difficult. We’d only known them two weeks, but all of the adults were in tears. They are our extended family and will always be an important part of our children’s lives.

That’s not to say it’s been smooth and perfect. Trauma hangs over us every day. We have fought for support; every day is a fight of some kind. We found out late about therapeutic parenting, we removed two of our children from an education system that didn’t work for them and sacrificed a salary and career to ensure their needs are met.

We familiarised ourselves with new terms and acronyms, such as; neurodiverse, trauma, sensory processing, anxiety, ASD, demand avoidant, attachment disorder and importantly PACE. 

The lows have been tough, and I would never judge another family’s situation – a few years ago I was able to understand why an adoption placement might break down.

The highs are breath-taking. Our family. Our beautiful, strong, funny children. Full of resilience, already having experienced more than most adults I know. They love life and we love them – unconditionally.

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