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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Hi, I’m Jo. My husband Robert and I are the proud parents to two adopted children. Sam is 15 and was adopted from an Orphanage in Tangier; Lici who is ten was adopted domestically. 

 In 2009 we launched Voice In A Million and for the past ten years we have staged annual school singing events at Wembley arena to raise funds and awareness for adoption and fostering, first supporting BAAF and subsequently Adoption UK.

Never planning to be a crusading parent, like many others once I joined the adoption community I became passionate about children and families. Because of the lack of easily accessible support and the constant need to advocate for your children I have become a warrior!

Our daughter was exposed to alcohol in utero and I realised soon after she came home that there were problems. I have faced one hurdle after another trying to get a diagnosis and support. I’ve been shocked by the complete lack of knowledge and understanding of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder amongst professionals, including doctors, teachers and social workers.

I had to educate myself, and without a network of parents and carers that I initially found online this would have been so much more difficult to navigate. Our daughter now has a confirmed FASD diagnosis alongside ASD and ADD, she has an EHCP and a place at the most wonderful specialist school.

Sadly, COVID 19 meant our 2020 VIAM events were postponed and they look unlikely to be rescheduled until 2022. But this hasn’t stopped me trying to make a difference. We are in the final stages of launching VIAMtv – an online streaming platform that will have content from our events, and -  most importantly – a strong focus on child and adolescent mental health. This will include diagnostic information and advice, interviews with families, experts, children and teens. Everything will be in one place – something I really wish I’d had years ago.

Adoption was certainly the most amazing thing for us as a family - we are blessed with two amazing children. But I have learnt over the years that parenting adopted children requires openness and a willingness to learn. To parent in the most appropriate way for your child requires education and commitment as well as love and compassion.

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