29 Jul 2015

Today we hear from ‘Amelia' who shares her experience of being traced by her birth father…..

I was happily getting on with my life, married with a little girl and a dog. We had just moved to a new house and area when I received a letter from an adoption agency saying a man who believed he was a birth relative of mine would like to hear some news of me. As my counsellor has said since, it felt like the rug had been pulled from under my feet and my whole world was flung up into the air. Well that didn’t actually happen until I received the first letter from my birth father with some photos.

I didn’t expect to feel anything, I was accepting his letter and photos out of curiosity and thought I would politely return the same to him and that would be the end of that. I was blown away when I heard his voice through his letter and when I saw his face. He laughed the same way I do and wrote in a similar style to me. As I said to him later on, he had me from that point...

14 Jul 2015

When Helen made the decision to build her family through adoption, her personal experience of domestic violence led her to Lee – a little boy struggling to cope with the terror of his early experiences........

 As a single woman looking to adopt a child between the ages of four and seven, it didn’t take long to find a little boy of six who needed a new mummy. He was near the top of my age range and had been overlooked by many adopters due to his lack of speech, but that didn’t put me off. What really drew me to Lee was his vulnerability. He had been diagnosed with global developmental delay and had a Statement of Special Educational Needs at school. He was described as having speech and language delay due to neglect; he hadn’t been spoken to at home and was not taken to Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) when referred to by the health visitor. In fact, he had no speech at all when he came into care, just grunts and noises.

It was the fact that...

29 Jun 2015

Gordon was adopted aged 10 by Jeannie, who was adopting as a single parent. Here, he describes his experiences of education before and after his adoption.

I had very little time in the regular school system. In my early childhood I found school a hard place to be and I just did not fit in with most of the kids there. They had fairly peaceful and normal family lives and I had troubles at home that would not leave me even when I went to school. Most days, I went to school hungry and tired.

When I was taken into care, things just got steadily worse with my schooling. I had a pile of problems that would have made most kids say, ‘Stuff it – there is no point in trying!’ I didn’t know it at the time, but I was deaf in one ear and dyslexic. All this was on top of worrying about my family. I tried regular school but children can be so cruel when a kid does not fit in to what they class as “normal”. I was shy and like a scared rabbit most of the time. I was always...

23 Jun 2015

Today we hear from Karen who volunteers for First4Adoption, the dedicated national adoption information service for people interested in adopting a child in England....


I have just come off the phone from today’s third potential adopter. As a volunteer for the national information service, First4Adoption, I take calls from a wide range of people considering the tremendous emotional journey that is adoption.  Some of them are telling us things they have never shared with even their closest family and friends.

My name is Karen and I have been working with First4Adoption for a year.  I am in my late forties, married with two adopted children, Louise who is eight and James who is six.  I work for a few hours a week doing admin for a local Pre-School. Now that my children are both at school fulltime, I was looking for an extra challenge.  I came across First4Adoption through Adoption UK’s website. ...

16 Jun 2015

Today we hear from Alexis* who gives a very honest insight into her childhood and being in foster care…….

Where do I begin, but to say my brother & I (twins) were not expected! My mother already had two teenage daughters from a previous marriage and was recently divorced and raising them when she met my father. He had enjoyed his freedom until meeting and settling down with my mother and on discovering she was pregnant, they decided to marry. I'm sure with a lot of pressure to do so, at that time having a child out of wedlock was still very much frowned upon.

My mother had lots of problems. I am told that her first marriage was quite destructive and abusive which left her with depression and an increasing dependence on alcohol. It was not easy for my mother.  She had shingles shortly after our birth; was trying to care for teenage daughters, one of whom had a child of her own;  was looking after us, 'the twins' as we were known, whilst also...

01 Jun 2015

In our latest blog, we hear from Steven Stockley who is a foster carer and Manager of Fosterline……

I have been a foster carer for a local authority for the past 7-8 years and I have also adopted a wonderful young boy as my son having fostered him for two and a half years. My commitment and passion to foster and support some of our most vulnerable children led to a completely different vocation in life and now I manage Fosterline for FosterTalk.

I manage a fantastic team of dedicated social workers and foster carers who share my passion to support prospective and current foster carers. These experienced well trained advisors provide their expertise by phone, email and website and enjoy nothing more than being able to discuss the broad topics of fostering directly.  

Fosterline is the free government funded helpline delivered by FosterTalk to support prospective and current foster carers in England. Since FosterTalk began delivering the service...

18 May 2015

Children and young people using social media is a growing worry for parents and this is especially so for adoptive parents and foster carers.  Here one mother shares her family's experience…..

‘Be honest,’ said Tom*, my sixteen-year-old son, as he was unpacking the shopping. ‘If you were me would you want to meet your birth father?’

‘Well, of course,’ I said. We’d had this conversation a few times and, unlike his younger brother, Jake*, Tom had always shown a real interest in connecting with his father, Michael*. We’d always said when he was 16 we’d help him make contact.

‘But it’s important we do it properly,’ I said, and suggested we wait until things had settled a little. The past few months had been difficult: he’d left school after GCSEs, had decided that two weeks of college was all he could take, and his days now consisted of watching A Place in the Sun and intermittently applying for apprenticeships. So far he hadn’t had much luck...

22 Apr 2015

Over the past few months we have been hearing from prospective adopters who, understandably, are feeling disheartened by their wait to be matched with a child.  One couple wrote an open letter to the Family Guardian.  BAAF’s John Simmonds has written a reply which the Guardian has kindly said they will pass on to the authors of the letter.  We thought we would share John's reply for others in a similar situation to see

Dear Adopters,

Your letter is powerful and moving.  As a professional and as an adoptive father of two I recognise the intensity of your plea for your social worker to be honest about the current situation but at the same time I would urge you not to give up hope.

The adoption system...

13 Apr 2015

New adopter, Alison shares her experience of the first 9 months of being a mum…

 When I was little I always took for granted that I would meet someone, get married and have a family. It never occurred to me that things would look any different.

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realise that everyone has their own story – mine is just different.

Just at the point where my husband and I we were trying to start a family, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The treatment saved my life, but it also drew a very thick line under us having our own children naturally.

Whilst a rubbish hand of cards to be dealt, what it did give us was an opportunity to do something incredible for another child through adoption.

It’s now nine months since our daughter (now 4yrs) arrived - since we parked up on the foster family’s drive to be greeted by a little face jumping up and down with excitement in the bay window.


08 Apr 2015

Sandie and her husband Gary have been foster carers for eight years. They live in south London. Sandie tells their story.

‘I love what I do because although all of the children have their difficulties, and some of them can be very challenging. I find that there’s always a chink in their armour. There’s always some way that you can get to know them and find something that works for them. In the early days when you meet a child you really have to get to know their likes and dislikes. What’s important to that child.

We originally thought we’d foster older boys – because we’ve brought up three sons of our own - but then we did think about girls as well. And once we were approved, our first call was about a girl, a sixteen-year-old girl. So we talked about it and decided, yes, we’d like to try to do it. So our first girl came to us on respite, two weekends a month to start with, and then three out of four weekends. Well, she was difficult – very, very challenging...