Adopted young people are to share their own powerful and personal stories, some of which will never have been told before, during this year’s Adoption Week Scotland (18-23 November).

Around a dozen youngsters will showcase their collection of poetry and short stories to an audience including Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney, at Edinburgh’s Scottish Poetry Library on 21 November.

The Scottish Poetry Storytelling event, organised by Adoption UK Scotland and AFA Scotland, will also provide the young people with an opportunity to meet Mr Swinney and share with him their experiences of being in care.

Fiona Aitken, Director of Adoption UK Scotland, said: “This group of young people sharing their stories and thoughts, in their own words, possibly for the first time, will be the highlight of Adoption Week Scotland.   

“Storytelling can be an important therapeutic tool to benefit our children.”

(Click the images to enlarge)


One person who knows only too well about how writing can help care experienced young people is the BMX superstar and Adoption UK ambassador John Buultjens,

John wrote an account of his amazing yet turbulent life in his book, Ride, which was turned into a film last year, in which John played the part of his abusive birth father.

In a message of support to the young people who will be sharing their poetry and stories, John said: “The main reason I wrote my book was to inspire others. We cannot change the past, so why do we live in it daily?

“By sharing my story and knowing that so many others can relate to it, and maybe see something in it for themselves, is very rewarding.”

Adoption Week Scotland 2019, organised by both Adoption UK Scotland and AFA Scotland, is an opportunity to celebrate and promote the best of adoption with awareness raising, information sessions and social events.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Adoption is a huge decision and we are determined to help make the process as smooth as possible and ensure adoptive parents are supported.

“Adoption Week Scotland can really help in that. Our efforts are about getting it right for every child and making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up in. This week is an important opportunity to highlight the huge difference that adoption can make to the lives of children and young people.”

Robin Duncan, Director of AFA Scotland added: “The fantastic line up of people supporting Adoption Week 2019 gives us a great opportunity to highlight the message that adoption remains a critical part of the solution for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children.”

Other events during the week include a Parliamentary event on 19 November, hosted by Rona Mackay, MSP, which will include a speech from Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People, highlighting both new and current adoption practice initiatives in Scotland today.

There will also be family events in both Edinburgh (16 November) and Glasgow (23 November); as well as Family Conflict Resolution Training (18 November) and a practice exchange event (20 November) - both in Glasgow.

Further details about all of the events during Adoption Week Scotland 2019 can be found here.

Below is a poem from C, aged 13.

My Life

My life is like a mountain range,

With everyday it becomes more strange.

With ups and downs along the way,

I have friends and family to make sure I’m okay.


My life is like a roller coaster,

Like bread going up and down in a toaster.

When I get knocked down, I bounce back on my feet,

By being brave I’m rewarded with a treat,

And Lucky me, ‘cause it’s a sweet.


When I am struggling in my life,

I like to stab the struggles with a knife.

And battle on through,

‘cause that’s what I like to do.


When in my life I am struggling with a test,

I’ll try really hard ‘cause that’s what I do best.

When I am in a game and I feel like I want to cry,

I try my hardest and give it another try.




In my life I love to help,

Especially when people cry with a yelp.

I rush over to see what’s wrong.

And show others that inside I’m really strong.



When in my life I feel very weak,

I battle on through and try to speak.

I say that I will not give in,

And put the weakness in the bin.


When in my life I feel proud,

I rejoice and sing aloud.

‘Cause my friends I know them well,

And they get back on their feet when they fall as well    .


When in my life I’ve done something bad,

I end up feeling very sad.

So next time I’ll try learn from the mistake I’ve made,

And bury them deep with a spade.

C , aged 13