How did you become involved with adoption and Adoption UK?

My wife and I adopted two siblings in 2007 and they are growing up into great young adults.  But from our own experience we know that adopters, special guardians and their children need ongoing support.  This is an exciting opportunity to bring together my personal and professional interests in support of the work of an organisation that is already making a big difference to some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.  Adoption UK does a fantastic job of supporting families, giving them a safe place to connect, and providing a powerful advocacy voice with both central and devolved government. After a near 30 year career in corporate law I’m happy to be able to use my skills and experience to support Adoption UK in this vital work, so that all of our children can grow to have happy and independent adult lives.


Any specific skills or areas of expertise relevant to the work of Adoption UK?

Adoption UK puts adopters and their children at the heart of all it does, from services to advocacy. As an adopter myself, I fully support that approach and am looking forward to building on it for the future.

The vast majority of Adoption UKs trustees are adopters themselves and or were adopted, so we share many of the same challenges and joys as the community we seek to support. We are looking at a range of ways to engage with adopters and special guardians more directly and consistently, to make sure everything we do is grounded in reality and designed to make the biggest possible difference to families’ lives. 

During my legal career I played an active role in the firm’s LGBT and BAME employee groups, and am passionate about diversity. For the past decade I have also been busy volunteering for organisations that work with disadvantaged children. At Action for Children I helped to raise £12 million as co-chair of an annual corporate sleep-out event, Byte Night. I was a trustee of Drive Forward Foundation – a charity that helps young care leavers into full time employment.

How do you want to see Adoption UK develop over the next five years?

The last year has brought many challenges for adopters and special guardians.  Adoption UK has done a marvellous job of adapting to the needs of the community it serves. I think we will need to continue to find new ways of doing things and providing our services digitally as we adapt to a “new norm”.

Adopted and SGO children face particular challenges in education and we will continue to work with schools and governments to ensure that their needs are met. 

We need to ensure that Adopters from a BAME background are not unfairly prejudiced by either the adoption process or the support that they can seek.

In England, we will need to continue to work with the newly established Regional Adoption Agencies to ensure that adopters are being well supported before and after the transition from local authorities. 

Finally, we need to engage more fully with the challenges that adoptive and SGO families have in juggling home life with work – this has become sharpened with so many of us working from home in lockdown.  We will need to engage actively with the business community to raise awareness of the issues we face.