As many of you will know, I have an interest in adoption.
In today’s post – as part of our National Adoption Week series – I want to highlight an agency that I think is brilliant (Don’t worry, they’re not paying me!).
After Adoption is a voluntary adoption agency working throughout England and Wales to help all those affected by adoption.
From placing children with adoptive parents to supporting birth families and reuniting families separated through adoption, they can work with all groups of people affected by adoption.
Why post adoption services matter…
These are vital things for those for whom adoption has presented challenges – and that’s most of us! Local Authorities also provide some of these services and always have a role in terms of information sharing, etc. However, they do not have the resources to properly and fully meet these needs for everyone. That’s where agencies like After Adoption come in.
Placement is only the start…
When a child is adopted, there is a whole range of people who are affected:
- Birth parents
- Adoptive parents
- Siblings in both families
- Wider family members in birth and adoptive families
- Social workers and support staff
- And, obviously, the child themselves!
But it doesn’t stop there. Because adoption is a life-long process. It becomes part of the fabric of both families involved.
As time goes by, people can find themselves in need of support. They may need help with things like:
- Locating and contacting birth family members
- Adopted people may need support to help them comes to terms with adoption
- Parents who have had children adopted, need support to revisit and process this – all over again
- Adoptive parents may need to access information or practical help when adopted children reach puberty and begin to really question their past
- Adopted people can support one another by just being together – for example via peer support groups
So agencies like After Adoption, working in partnership with Local Authorities and others, are able to offer such services.
They lend vital strength to those dealing with adoption and directly contribute, at times, to keeping families together that might not otherwise cope.
Here’s are some examples of what After Adoption achieves…
- TALKadoption groups where young adopted people can get together to talk about their experiences and just to have fun! (More on this great service in another post later this week…)
- Family Finding – 9 out of 10 children they help are placed with adoptive families – they find places for those children who have waited the longest
- Safe Base Parenting Programme – 284 families are still together as a direct result of this programme – placement breakdowns are averted
- Support birth parents who have lost children to adoption – After Adoption worked with 2,000 birth relatives through England and Wales last year
- 800 people have found family members through the After Adoption Searching Service
As you can see, this is a vital service for so many reasons.
If you would like to support the work of After Adoption or find out more about how you can help, please click here for more information.
There are many agencies and professionals working hard to make adoption work. After Adoption just happens, in my view, to be one of the best. One people should know about – hence this post.
Ultimately, however, it’s the kids that matter. Finding a home and a family that will love them, is priceless. Anything that promotes this, supports it and helps to maintain it, is worthy of highlighting!
What do you think?
- Will you be celebrating National Adoption Week? If so, how? (Please leave a comment below)
- What experiences of post-adoption support (or lack of it) have you had?
Please contribute to this by adding your own thoughts and experiences. You can leave a comment by scrolling down, or just click here.
Related previous posts…
For more info…
- British Association for Adoption & Fostering – the go-to place for free advice and guidance.
- Parenting advice for foster carers and adopters… Very well worth a read – excellent site with lots of advice and practical pointers.
Pass it on…
© Jonny Matthew 2013
With thanks to Sophie Bell & Ruth Letten from After Adoption for their help!