National Adoption Week 2023
This National Adoption Week (16th – 22nd October), adoption agencies across the country have joined together to shine a spotlight on the positive impact adoption has had on adopted people’s lives, as well as the strides made in the sector to put children and their sense of identity at the heart of the adoption journey.
The new You Can Adopt campaign wants to celebrate different generations of adopted people, showcasing how adoption has changed through the decades and exploring how it has shaped the lives of adopted people.
Watch this new short film, which aims to capture the group’s different adoption journeys and experiences:
As the film demonstrates, the adoption process looks very different today from 50 years ago. This includes staying in touch with birth relatives and friends (when safe and appropriate) and maintaining these connections through life story books, later life letters, and memory boxes, which all help adopted people stay connected to their past. This contrasts with previous generations, where many people may not have even known they were adopted.
Portraits of adopted people and adopters have been released alongside the emotive behind-the-scenes film. These individual stories and experiences highlight the fact that in adoption today, there is a greater emphasis on the openness of adoption, helping children understand their history and maintaining connections with their birth family, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
Isabelle (adopted in the 1980s), who features in the film alongside her adopted son Nathanial (adopted in the 2010s), said:
“Having been adopted myself, and then going on to adopt my two children, I know the importance of having an open dialogue around adoption. I want my kids to grow up knowing where they came from, and where possible, maintaining contact with their birth families. I didn’t know about my birth mother until I was much older, meaning I always had questions about my identity and history. Adoption is not a line in the sand between one life and another. It is something that should be open and celebrated – and I’m passionate about doing that with both my children”.
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The campaign aims to further encourage potential adopters to come forward to change the lives of children who are still waiting for their forever families. There is still a huge need for more people to come forward to adopt, with a 23% decline in the proportion of children leaving care via adoption over the last five years – last year (2022), 2,950 children left care via adoption, 900 less than in 2018.