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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LuisaLuisa Bradshaw-White is an actress known for playing Tina Carter in Eastenders and for her previous roles in Bad Girls, Holby City and This Life. Luisa and her wife Annette adopted two sisters 15 years ago when they were aged three and four years old. Their daughters are now 18 and 19 years old.

After so many long conversations about ‘how' we would have kids, my wife and I went along to an open night at a local adoption agency and after one look at the photos of all those little faces, we knew we would adopt. It was a no brainer!

Once we had gone through the adoption process we also knew we didn’t want to adopt a baby. The older kids waited longer and their faces spoke to me more.

After our training I got shown SO many photos of so many kids but as soon as I saw the photo of my girls I just burst into tears because I just recognised them!  It was the most incredible feeling.

My girls didn’t know how to play when they first came to us.  We gave them new dolls and they had them in the garden, I went inside for a few minutes and when I came back they were jamming them in and out of the drain. The next dolls were decapitated and had their limbs pulled out.

There have been tough moments with the girls, teenage years are hard for all kids but for adopted kids it can be so tough. Mine don’t keep their worries to themselves, it all comes tumbling out because nothing is off limits in our house, we talk through everything.

I think we are so close because we are all girls and because we have had no choice but to have an open dialogue because of the trauma our girls went through in their early years.

The advice I would give anyone adopting would be to throw out of the window the idea of the child you are going to get and start celebrating the child you DO get.  I spent too long trying to mould the girls into what I expected them to be, and the day I let that go and celebrated them for who they were was the day I truly fell in love with them. This was also the start of their journey to loving themselves. Most adopted kids have a core belief that they are not loved, and not good enough, so to show them you love and accept them just as they are - warts and all - is so important for their life journey. 

We now all have an intense love and bond with each other.

I feel hugely grateful to have the girls in my life.  They are my everything.

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