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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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:
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!