AEM is encouraging adopters to come forward as part of National Adoption Week
Published: 17 October 2022
Adoption East Midlands and Derby City Council are proud to support National Adoption Week 2022 and are urging people to come forward and consider adoption to help local children find their forever families.
This year, National Adoption Week focuses on the theme of identity. The campaign by ‘You Can Adopt’ will explore adopted people’s reflections on their relationships from before, during, and after they were adopted, connect them to their heritage, and understand how this helped them develop a sense of their identity as they grew up. During the week, the campaign will challenge perceptions of modern adoption and show how important it can be for adopted people to be able to understand and feel connected to their past – often through physical keepsakes such as letters, photographs, or childhood toys and sometimes through meeting up.
To mark the week, ‘You Can Adopt’ has released a short film exploring the relationships and memories of four adopted people, as they look back through their own ‘memory boxes’ and keepsakes from their lives before and after they were adopted, which have helped them develop and have an impact on their sense of identity.The emotional film brings to life the connections that adopted people make and how their sense of identity has been formed through various connections in their lives – including birth families, foster carers, friends and adoptive parents.
The national survey by ‘You Can Adopt’ also revealed that 80 per cent of those in the East Midlands say their identity is shaped through connections made throughout their life, and more than 72 per cent say it is shaped by an understanding of their family history. Adopted people are no different, and many factors play a role in influencing who they are today – including special memories with foster carers and friends, contact with birth parents, knowledge of their family history, and the relationships formed with their adoptive families.
Shelagh Mitchell, Group Manager, Adoption East Midlands, said:
This National Adoption Week, we’re urging people to find out more about adoption. Finding the right adoptive family for children improves their life chances and we want every child to be in a loving, stable home.
We want people to come forward and find out more about adopting so that local young people can find their forever families. Adoption East Midlands provides ongoing support, as well as a wealth of information and training for adopters, as part of the ongoing journeys of those who have been adopted.
I encourage anyone who is thinking about adoption to come along to one of our information events or Q&A sessions to find out more, have an informal chat and hear from others who have adopted with us.”
Councillor Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, and Skills, said:
We are extremely proud to be supporting this campaign this National Adoption Week. Adopting a child ensures that the young person has a loving, stable home with parents who will stick by them through good times and bad. I would urge people to take the first step and speak to the dedicated team.”
Sarah Johal, member of the National Adoption Recruitment Steering Group and National Adoption Strategic lead, said:
It's really important for adopted people to know about their own history, their family and where they come from. Having continued relationships where that is safe and appropriate is ideal, but if not, it is important for adopted people to have information, stories and keepsakes as connections to their past can really help children as they get older develop a positive sense of identity and emotional well-being.”
National Adoption Week is highlighting how modern adoption is changing with the aim of helping adopted people to know more about their family history. This may include being able to stay in touch with birth family members or friends (when safe and supported) and encouraging access to a better quality of information through life story books and later life letters.
In fact, nine out of 10 prospective adopters would consider contact with birth parents, while 78% of adopted people felt that connecting directly with birth family members would have helped them to understand their life history and identity more fully, according to the Adoption Barometer, published by Adoption UK.
However, the You Can Adopt campaign also acknowledges that identity, especially for adopted people, can be a life-long journey and is always evolving. While not all adopted people will have mementos from their early life or the opportunity to have contact with people from their life before they were adopted, modern adoption encourages access to a range of quality information. Meanwhile many adopters today make it a priority to help their children to understand and develop their identity.
Adoption East Midlands offers excellent packages of support to its adoptive families including social worker support during the assessment process and afterwards; a programme of activities for children and young people; and ongoing training and development.
Information events and virtual Q&A sessions are a really good way to find out more, have an informal chat and hear from others who have adopted with us. Upcoming dates are Wednesday 26 October and Friday 4 November, 12.30pm-1.30pm.