We Need To Talk About Adoption

Published: 23.11.17

A week-long programme of roadshows and events is currently touring Scotland to encourage more people to talk and learn about adoption.
We Need To Talk About Adoption

It is part of Adoption Week Scotland 2017, which runs from 20 to 25 November, and is supported by Adoption UK, Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland and the Scottish Government.

As well as a series of information events acrosss Aberdeen, Galashiels, Glasgow and Sterling; a special screening of ‘And Violet’ - a coming-of-age drama about an adopted teenage girl's troubled family relationships - will be shown in the Grassmarket Community Centre in Edinburgh on Thursday 23 November, from 6.30pm.

The week will culminate in a national conference at the Edinburgh Carlton Hotel on Friday 24 November, which will feature talks from, among others, acclaimed speaker and author Lisa Cherry.

Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Maree Todd, said: “Adoption Week Scotland is an important opportunity to highlight the difference that adoption is making to the lives of children and young people. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge the key role that thousands of adoptive families are making all across Scotland.

“The programme of events - organised by Adoption UK Scotland and Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland - will include a roadshow of information events, a national conference, and a celebratory family event for adoptive families.

“I hope everyone this week will take the opportunity to support the conversations that we need to have around adoption.”

Adoption UK and AFA Scotland said that the opportunity of Adoption Week Scotland must be used to ensure that adoption is better informed by the stories and experiences of all the adults and children involved.

Fiona Aitken, director of Adoption UK Scotland said: “While much has been achieved over the last ten years, we have now hit a stumbling block when it comes to adoption.  Research is improving, and we have a greater understanding of the complex needs of adopted children. We now need to use this information to find the best way to support the families.

“Recent BBC and Adoption UK research has revealed that almost two thirds of parents (35 percent) felt that they did not receive full and correct information about their first adopted child. This is simply not good enough. We need to arm parents with as much information as possible so that they can change their child’s story. One of the main aims of Adoption Week is to highlight the experiences of families in Scotland today. We can learn from these experiences to help us better prepare and support adopted children in Scotland.”

Robin Duncan from AFA Scotland heads a team of specialist trainers and consultants who help professionals to understand the needs of vulnerable children and their families, and that supports the development of policy and practice that improve the experience of children in the care system.  He said: “Scotland aims to be one of the best places in the world for children to grow up and we know that for some children adoption provides the best opportunity for them to thrive in a family environment. But the way adoption is currently organised often fails to reflect what we know about the needs of the children and all the adults involved. Adoption Week Scotland 2017 provides a great opportunity to hear the voices of all involved, to celebrate the benefits adoption brings, but also to highlight what needs to change to create the most positive future for adopted children.”

Anyone wanting further information about any of the events taking place should contact Adoption UK Scotland by emailing: scotland@adoptionuk.org.uk

Adoption UK is the biggest support charity in the country, providing awareness and understanding for those parenting or supporting children who cannot live with their birth parents.  The charity’s purpose is to give voice to adoptive families and to ensure the right support is there for them.

Adoption & Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland is an independent charity established in September 2015 following the demise of BAAF Scotland, that provides a range of training and consultancy to all professionals connected to adoption and fostering throughout Scotland. Those seeking advice, including advice from AFA’s legal consultant, should contact 0131 248 2403

Anyone experiencing difficulties is urged to become a member of Adoption UK and contact its helpline on 0131 201 2488 or by emailing: helpdesk@adoptionuk.org.uk