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]

CarolOur daughter was two when she was placed with us 27 years ago. Post-adoption support was non-existent, not being a requirement until 2005, and we were confident that we could successfully parent a toddler. After all we had a birth son who was a textbook child, what could possibly go wrong!

We quickly realised that a great deal more was required to parent our daughter than we had anticipated.

After many years of asking we received therapeutic help which had a positive effect and began having shared care with a specialist foster carer. It felt as though things were working well.  Then, after a particularly bad week our daughter’s psychiatrist decided that she needed a few days away in an alternative foster placement, we could all then come back together and continue. 

She was 15 at the time and sent to a residential placement about 200 miles away. She has not been home to live since.  Since then, she has had multiple moves, had a year in a secure unit as an adolescent and has spent the past 9 years in adult secure accommodation.

We have learnt to “parent from a distance”.  It was exceedingly difficult at first; I felt a failure as a mother and let down by the very people who I thought were supposed to help.  Over time, I realised that our relationship has adapted to our new way of being a family. The limited time that we spent together in recent years has, on the whole, been positive. I am no longer scared of her, I am more relaxed, not constantly exhausted or on guard.  She now visits and we cook lunch together, chat and have a more usual mother-daughter relationship. 

I still believe that this was not the right way for social care to handle things, but we have adapted to our situation.  I would love to think that we could go shopping together, have coffee, do the usual mother and daughter things that I longed for, but that was not to be and what we have is sufficient. I have adjusted my expectations.  I have learnt to take care of myself.

I use baking as a therapy which my family and neighbours enjoy as much as I do. I often try different recipes and cakes, sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. Baking, like parenting, is not always a piece of cake.

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