How did you become involved with adoption and Adoption UK?
My wife and I adopted three siblings in 2012 through our local council’s adoption placement service and soon after joined an Adoption UK local support group run by volunteers, where we met peer adopters and were able to share stories and talk to people who understood our situation. More than seven years later and with time to spare and (I thought) skills to offer, I approached Adoption UK to see if there was anything I could do to help them in repayment for their early support to my family, leading to me becoming a Trustee of Adoption UK in September 2019 and Chair of Adoption UK’s Finance & Scrutiny Committee.

Any specific skills or areas of expertise relevant to the work of Adoption UK?
Aside from having been through the adoption screening process and being a parent to thee wonderful, but at times challenging, children I have observed over time family, friends and professionals in the education system fail to fully understand the long term effects of trauma and insecure attachment in early childhood on adopted children’s self-esteem and ability to learn and the style of parenting that is often needed to employ with adopted children. I therefore have the personal experience to understand the mission of Adoption UK and am pleased to be a part of the Board of Trustees. In my professional life I work in an industry that is subject to a great deal of regulation and which requires good governance and oversight and I work regularly with senior leadership teams and Boards of companies. Charities are similarly subject to specific requirements and regulations across the UK and need an equivalent level of scrutiny and oversight, which I hope I will be able to meaningfully contribute to in the coming years.

How do you want to see Adoption UK develop over the next five years?
I would wish Adoption UK to continue to build its membership base and volunteer groups to foster an even greater sense of community and shared experience among adopters, adoptees and prospective adopters. I also support the Adoption UK aim to become the partner of choice to governments, local authorities and schools for advice, guidance and support in relation to the types of issues we see in adopted (but also in birth family) children. Finally, I would want Adoption UK to continue its excellent advocacy and research work, with more well researched, well presented and impactful reports around this topic to influence the decision makers in the sphere of children and young persons welfare, care and protection, especially for those who have suffered abuse, neglect or trauma in their early lives.