National Adoption Week – connecting with your past


Adoption Central England (ACE) is supporting this year's National Adoption Week, 17-22 October.

Both the national campaign and this year’s theme seek to challenge existing perceptions of adoption by highlighting how important it is for adopted people to connect and understand their life before adoption as this can contribute to their sense of personal identity and emotional wellbeing.

ACE understands the importance of preparing and supporting children, adoptive parents, and birth family members with ongoing contact arrangements with birth families - through letters, social media, or direct contact.

Marie*, an ACE adopter who is supporting her adopted children to have direct contact with their birth parents, has shared her experiences:

“We agreed to direct contact after researching how beneficial it could be to our children's sense of identity. We also wanted to ensure we had done everything we could to nurture a relationship between our children and their birth family, and we were mindful of the fact that social media may mean contact is sought by either party as they get older anyway.”

“We have already found that direct contact has allowed for much more natural discussions about our children's life story, and we think it helps that the children can see that the adults from both families can both be present and pleasant.”

“From an identity point of view, we are hoping that direct contact gives our children the opportunity to get to know their birth family and provides them with a forum to ask questions that we may not know the answers to, or simply find out any shared physical or personality traits they might have. Most importantly we hope it will show our children that they are loved by both of their families. Our direct contact experience has been positive so far and we look forward to building on that through the years.”

Councillor Michael Gough, Solihull’s Cabinet Member for Children and Education, said:

“This year’s National Adoption Week theme touches on an important part of adopted people’s lives.”

“The ability to celebrate our own histories is a crucial aspect of forming our own personal identities and being proud of who we are, so I am delighted that Solihull is supporting such a pertinent cause for another year.”

National Adoption Week is part of the national adoption campaign ‘You Can Adopt’. The campaign has released a short film exploring the relationships and memories of four adopted people. The film highlights the connections that adopted people make and how their sense of identity has been formed through various connections in their lives.

Tiegan*, an adopted person featuring in the film who met her birth dad two years ago, said:

“I think it's important to be told you're adopted from the very beginning. My mums knew they weren't just adopting me, they were adopting my whole history and family as well. There are still struggles - you'll never get every piece of information. But there were four years of my life before I was adopted, and that’s still part of my story.”

To find out more about adopting through Adoption Central England, please visit the Ace Adoption website or contact the team on 0300 369 0556 to discuss children who are waiting to be adopted.

*Names have been changed to protect their identity.