National adoption week – connecting with your past – Coventry City Council

Adoption Central England (ACE) is supporting this year’s National Adoption Week 17-23 October.

The national campaign, and this year’s theme of ‘identity’, challenges the perception of adoption and highlights the importance for adopted people to be able to understand and feel connected to their past. 

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. For adopted people, understanding and connections to their life before adoption can be crucial to their lifelong sense of identity and emotional wellbeing.

An ACE adopter who is supporting her adopted children to have direct contact with their birth parents shares 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.’

Cllr Patricia Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Coventry City Council, said: “Adoption makes a massive difference both to the lives of children but to the whole of the adoptive family. National Adoption Week helps us think about the role adopters play in opening their hearts to the children they adopt and making a real difference in their lives.


The role of adopters is incredibly rewarding, and part of this is helping children and young people know and appreciate their own identity.”

“We are there to help them and we are so fortunate in Coventry to be part of ACE and have a strong network of families and social workers who can give the best advice and support possible to those setting out on this journey, and that includes helping those who are adopted to know their backgrounds and have a sense of their history.

“We are always in need of more families to come forward as adopters and I would urge anyone  interested to visit our website, come and talk to us and see how we can help them.“

The Council website is www.coventry.gov.uk

To find out about adopting through Adoption Central England visit www.aceadoption.com  or contact the team on 0300 369 0556 to talk about the children who are waiting to be adopted and the process involved. 

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 National Adoption Week or to seek information or support, visit www.youcanadopt.co.uk/naw

Source link