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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LindaI was brought up in Glasgow and lived with my mum, dad and four siblings. My mum was a rock, a star, the best, gentle and kind.

One day when I was in my early 20s I received a phone call from a woman looking to speak to my mum. I can’t remember why, but the call felt odd to me. I don’t know if it was because of what she said or her tone of voice. It wasn’t a bad feeling, it was just a, ‘I can’t quite place this’ feeling. I took details and passed these on to my mum.

The next thing I knew my sister, my oldest sister, a sister I never knew I had, was coming to visit. Her name was Heather. I was stunned and it felt surreal.

I still don’t really know why my mother gave up her first child to adoption, though I think I can guess. My feelings about my mum never changed, but it made me think more about the hardships in her life. I felt very sad. Sad for her and sad for Heather.

When I first met Heather I was amazed at how like our mum she was. What struck me the most was the way her actions and movements were the same as our mums’ - traits I thought you could only learn by living with someone. They both chewed gum in the same way, they smiled in the same way and they had similar facial expressions. It was strange to see. There are so many things that are similar to our family, it feels strange, a disconnection and a connection all at the same time. ‚ÄčI felt Heather and I really connected. I wanted to know everything about her and what had happened in her life. I also wanted to share with her my life story. This was so that any disconnect, through not knowing one another for all our lives, was repaired to some level.  

I wish I had been given the opportunity to know Heather when we were younger, even from a distance, a letter, anything. I know if I knew she existed we would have stayed in touch and built our relationship earlier. I am glad I know Heather and her family and enjoy having another older sister. I wish we lived closer so that we could spend more time together.

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