LucyAdoption will always be difficult and, at times, bring immense challenges to both adopted people and their families. But adoption also has the potential to be indescribably beautiful.

I was adopted when I was 7 and, because of my age, counted as a ‘hard to place’ child. ‘Hard to place’ because as a person, I was already half-formed and lived with the direct memories of my childhood trauma. I’ve heard adults tell me that they could never have adopted an older child because “who knows how they’d turn out?”. Truthfully though, who knows how anyone will turn out? Whether biological or adopted, children are their own people, able to adapt, develop and thrive if given the right support and a loving home. But the support does need to be there through all stages of adoption and into adulthood.

I am, and always will be, processing the impact of my childhood and adoption. As I develop in thought and understanding, so does my perception of my life-story. It’s no longer the negative thing it was in my early teenage years, it’s now about giving myself the space to explore my identity as an adopted young person and how I fit into this world.

When you’re adopted, both your past and your present come together. Unlike what many perceive, it isn’t like starting over and wiping the board clean. It’s more of the necessary fusion that occurs when two atoms in a star come together to form something unique, a different atom, but one that still has significant remnants of its original self. You don’t need to be defined by your past but acknowledging it and trying to understand it will help create your future. 

My beautiful border collie aptly named Faith.

Lucy wrote the foreword to Adoption UK’s Adoption Barometer report, published this week. The Barometer is the only UK-wide assessment of the lives of adoptive families. This year’s report has a special focus on young people’s transition to adulthood. Find out more about the Barometer.

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