Posted by: christinelaennec | September 8, 2011

A (Scottish) Parliamentary Reception

This week my husband Michael was invited to a reception at the Scottish Parliament, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Adoption UK.  We’ve been involved with this charity since we became adoptive parents over 15 years ago.  They do really amazing work.  They support prospective adopters and adoptive parents, as well as professionals whose work involves adoption and adoptive families.  They also work closely with government on legislation that affects adopters and adoptees.

On the Poetry Wall of the Scottish Parliament building

I’m proud to say that Michael was on the Scottish Advisory Board of Adoption UK for several years.  During this time, he contributed to drafting Adoption UK’s response during the consultation phase that resulted in the Children’s Act (Scotland) (2007).

Michael and our (adopted) son in front of the entrance to the Scottish Parliament

He had a good visit with our son.  Our son was not yet 4 years old when we adopted him, and the full extent of what he had suffered as a baby and toddler was only partially revealed to us years later when we made a formal complaint.  (The Child Protection files remained mysteriously lost.)  I have written here about some of the heroic things that Michael has done as an adoptive father.

The Debating Chamber, Scottish Parliament

As a family, we have visited the Scottish Parliament several times.  We really like Enric Miralles’ ultra-modern building (rather to our surprise).  Above is the Debating Chamber.  And here is the room where the reception was held:

Reception for Adoption UK's 40th anniversary

Jonathan Pearce has been a very effective leader of this important charity.  When it began 40 years ago, most of the children who were up for adoption were babies born to unmarried mothers.  Nowadays very, very few babies are given up for adoption.  The vast majority of children are up for adoption because they come from such disfunctional birth families that the authorities have reluctantly taken them away.  Contemporary adoption is often “open”:  adoptees may well continue to meet their birth parents and/or siblings while they grow up in an adoptive family.

Jonathan Pearce, Chairman of Adoption UK. Jonathan is himself an adoptee. (Apologies for fuzzy photo)

Adoption has never been an easy path, but Adoption UK does wonderful work to help it remain a viable option for children and parents.  Adoption UK has a wealth of expertise and information.  They have also raised the profile of the field of attachment studies, although even now it’s amazing how many medical professionals don’t know what “impaired attachment” means.  Adoption UK regularly hosts workshops with experts, open to parents and professionals, and has developed a training programme for adoptive parents.

So I’m very proud of Michael’s contribution to their work!  And, just because he came back with these lovely photos, here are a few bonus snaps from Edinburgh:

The Scott Monument, early September 2011.

Public art calling attention to the plight of endangered species. Edinburgh, Sept. 2011.

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, early September 2011.

Adoption has never been an easy road, but Adoption UK has helped many, many families to find the support they need to make a success of it.  Happy 40th, Adoption UK!



  1. Many congratulations to Michael, and to you, for such loving commitment in the public and private spheres.

    Always interesting to see Edinburgh through a visitor’s eyes.

    The ‘say but little and say it well’ proverb is nicely ironic when applied to a parliament.

    I have something to email you this weekend which may raise a smile for you and Michael.

  2. It’s lovely to see a happy picture of Michael with your son. And congratulations to the whole family!.

  3. What a lovely post ,thanks for sharing
    Hugs Erna

  4. You must be very proud of your selfless and dedicated husband! What a worthy cause. Your adoptive son is blessed to have such wonderful role models in his life.

    Beautiful photos, also!

  5. Dear All,

    Thanks very much for sharing my moment of pride adn for your congratulations.

    Linda – I hadn’t noticed the irony of the “say but little” quote on the side of the Parliament! I look forward to your e-mail and hope you’re having a good weekend.

    Flora – yes it is a nice photo, and thank you!

    Erna – lovely to hear from you!

    Karen – yes, I am very proud of Michael. There are very many dedicated fathers, adoptive and otherwise. I’m also proud of our son, who has been both tremendously unlucky and also tremendously lucky in his short life. He’s a nice person.

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