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. 

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Isma and her partner adopted their son when he was a “teeny, tiny two year old. He’s now a rather sturdy eight-year-old with biceps.” Isma enjoys a challenge. She is a British Pakistani Muslim woman who adopted a child of African heritage with her white female partner. She is a comedian and she took her solo stand-up show, ‘About a Buoy; adventures in adoption’ to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019.

 “For me, the hardest parts about adoption have been the bits where we couldn’t do anything other than wait – particularly while we were waiting for a child to be matched with us. When we saw details of our now son on the Link Maker website, I tracked down his social worker and arranged a meeting. I was absolutely determined to make that match happen. Thankfully, none of the professionals seemed to mind my rather assertive approach.

The thing that completely took me by surprise was the moment when I met my son for the first time. Having had two birth children, I had experienced that rush of emotions that parents sometimes feel when meeting their new baby. I knew in adoption, it was likely to be very different. I reassured myself that it would be okay if I didn’t feel any connection, emotion or huge magical moment when we met.

When the day came, it was exactly the same as when I met my birth children for the first time. The rush of emotion was definitely there, along with an intense and almost primal need to protect him. It completely floored me.

I remember vividly after that first meeting, we drove around the corner and I sobbed my heart out in a Lidl car park.

We are now six years on, and in many ways life is as it was before; chaotic, busy, happy, but filled with more joy, love and Key Stage 2 homework.

I’ve had to change my style of parenting. With my birth daughters, I didn’t think about bonding or attachment at all. It was a given that these things would just happen. With adoption, I hadn’t anticipated how much bonding and attachment would be central to parenting.

Another thing that has changed for sure - I can’t drive past a Lidl anymore without getting a tear in my eye.

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