Young People's Project
Adoption is complex. It's rarely straightforward, and has an enormous impact on everyone who is involved with it.
Today we know more about the reality of the lifelong process of adoption than we have previously – more about the impact of trauma on children who have experienced difficult starts in life, about the effect of alcohol, drugs and chaotic environments on the infant in utero, and more about the often lifelong need for support that adoptive families have. We also have a greater knowledge about the many strengths and benefits that adoption can offer a child and family.
Voice of the adopted young person
One voice that is commonly missed in the narrative around adoption is that of the adopted young person. In Scotland we are currently undergoing an Independent Care Review that is seeking input from those who have been in the care system and lived through it to have their say about how it can be improved. Those managing the review understand the need to have those from within the system involved to change the system. If we want to accurately evaluate and improve adoption, we need to be doing the same.
As part of the Adoption Task Force, facilitated by CELCIS, Adoption UK is collaborating with St. Andrew's Children's Society, Scottish Adoption and social work and third sector agencies to gather input from adopted young people across Scotland.
We would like to know two things – what does adoption mean to them, and how could their experiences have been improved?
This project is a chance for us to encourage adopted young people to share their story, as a part of helping us to improve experiences for other young people coming through the same system.
Young people's project
The first phase of the project is Share Your Story – and we wanted to capture the voice of the young people from the beginning. We sought the help of a group of adopted young people to help us create the beginnings of the project: a short film to share our details and encourage others to take part.
Through a series of facilitated group meetings we worked together with a filmmaker to plan the production of this 'advert'. We are grateful to them all the young people for taking part, and bringing their voices and imagination to the task. We are now asking local authorities, agencies and organisations working with adoptive families to help us to support young people to take part in the project.
We would like them to submit their thoughts and stories in any way that they choose – through pictures, poetry, presentations or podcasts, we are keen to see, hear and experience it all. All submissions will help us with the final stage of our project – Hear Our Story, where we hope to raise awareness around the thoughts and experiences of adopted young people.