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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John grew up in Glasgow where he experienced violence at the hands of his birth father. He suffered severe burns after his father threw him in a fire when he was three years-old and he was knocked unconscious during another attack, which led to him being placed in care on Christmas Eve, 1979.

After three years in care, John was fostered at the age of ten and his foster parents went on to adopt him. John later discovered his passion for BMX riding and became a professional BMX rider. He now lives in California and is the global brand manager for Haro BMX Bikes in 80 countries around the world. He is also an Adoption UK ambassador. 

Ride, a film about John’s life, is being released on Sky Cinema. John stars in the film himself, playing his abusive birth father. The film also stars hip hop artist Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges.

On the first day of filming I thought I couldn’t do it. It was the most draining and difficult day of my life. I cried many times throughout filming but it was a beautiful release of anger - like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

I believe that by sharing my story I can inspire other adopted people and adoptive parents. I’m a success story, despite my start in life. My story proves that it is possible for children to be given a second chance of a warm and loving home, through adoption.

My mum and dad saw something in me that no one else did. They showed me a certain door to walk through and I chose to walk through it. They showed me what it is to have a loving and supportive family and a forever home. There is no way I can ever thank them enough. Whenever I go back home to Scotland I spoil them because I know I wouldn’t have this life if it wasn’t for them. But the only way I can really thank them is by being successful. I know what a fantastic job adoptive parents do for their children and I owe everything to my adoptive parents – they are my role models. It means everything to me that I can make them so proud today.

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