14 Apr 2014

the silhouette of a lone figure against the horizonFollowing his home life breaking down and being taken in to care, Kieran tells us about the start of his new life with foster carers….

After we left Mum and her partner, we were taken into emergency care for a couple of months. You know when you’re in emergency care. It feels like you’re in some kind of departure lounge, waiting for your flight. To start off with, it was a kind of sanctuary from all of the beatings and violence, but it was only ever going to be temporary. I’m not saying that where I lived was unpleasant in any way, but it was temporary – we had been rescued and were waiting for our flight to freedom. 

One day, we were all taken to another county. We had no idea where we were going, but we did know that we were going to meet some new foster carers. As we drove away the excitement in the car was almost tangible.  It felt like we had...

07 Apr 2014

Photo of Srabani Sen, Chief Executive of BAAFPicture the scene. A huge hall filled with more than 200 adults and children. Dotted in between the soft play area, the arts and crafts room and the refreshments tables are a number of brightly coloured plastic inflatable palm trees. Outside of the window you can see a enormous bouncy castle, with a queue of children excitedly waiting their turn, whilst some bounce away on various animal shaped space hoppers. Many of the people are dressed in animal onesies. I spot were several lions, elephants and monkeys – and that was just the grown-ups. My personal favourite is the woman dressed as a bright pink flamingo. 

Look more closely. A number of couples cleave together, some looking nervous, some awkward. The sheer scale of the job that BAAF does is captured in the looks on the faces of these people, for they are prospective adopters, attending the latest...

31 Mar 2014

Scotland's Adoption Register

I am delighted to announce that as of Friday 28 March Scotland’s Adoption Register has matched its 100th child to a new family. It seems like no time at all since we launched on a sunny spring morning on April 1st 2011 and throughout these three years we believe the register has flourished and most importantly, achieved the job that it set out to do; find permanent homes for vulnerable children in Scotland.

In our first year of operating 8 children were matched as a result of register activity. Last year we matched 34 and this year 58. It is so wonderful to see these figures and know that each represents a child who has found their forever family.

The database is at the centre of our work and we have also introduced innovative new schemes that have developed practice across Scotland. With events such as...

24 Mar 2014

TeenagersAndi lives in a small market town in the West Country. After 23 years in fostering, she now helps to recruit and train new carers. She tells us her story.

I think things happen for a reason, I don’t believe in coincidences. And so I was in the local library one day, and this bookmark fell out of a book. It was advertising a new scheme called Teencare, for fostering teenagers. I had thought about fostering before, simply because I always loved babies and children. But I’d dismissed it because my son was still young and I didn’t want him to feel pushed out. I didn’t know that anyone needed you to foster teenagers. So that leaflet got me thinking, it started something. That was twenty-three years ago and it changed my life!

I did the training and within six months I had my first young person come and live here. From the start I often had multiple placements, probably...

17 Mar 2014

SarahBefore I adopted my children I was a foster carer then a Children and Families Social Worker. When I was assessed to adopt, I didn't really think there was anything the social worker could tell me that I didn't already know.... How wrong I was!

As it turned out, there wasn't too much the social worker could tell me that was particularly useful, but my children taught me loads! The younger three were placed first, aged 7 months, 2 and 3. All pre-verbal and in nappies, and with a colourful array of learning and health difficulties, after suffering longstanding chronic neglect.

A year later, the Local Authority asked me to consider taking on the older two, then aged 6 and 8. I was not too keen to do this to be honest, as we had our hands full. But after considering all the possible outcomes we decided the best thing to do would be to re-unite the children. 


10 Mar 2014

the silhouette of a lone figure against the horizon

Last month Kieran told us about the break-up of his parent’s relationship and his father leaving. Today he shares what family life was like when his mum’s new partner came to stay…….

Out of the frying pan…

After Dad had gone, calm seemed to reign at home. I’m not saying that life returned to normal, but at least the arguing stopped.

Soon after Mum told us that we were going to meet someone special. We didn’t know it at the time, but the man we met was Mum’s new partner. He seemed nice enough and Mum seemed to be very happy when he was around, so I accepted him.

Before long, Mum’s new partner moved in with us. We hadn’t seen Dad since the day he had moved out – it was if he had vanished off the face of the earth. On the one hand, I grieved the loss of my Dad, yet, on the other hand, life at home seemed to have...

06 Mar 2014

Little boy dressed up as a robotWhen I was asked to contribute to the BAAF blogpost for LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, I was also asked if I could make it ‘inspirational’ – “No problem,” I said, “If you need an inspirational piece about being a gay parent then I’m your man!”

Then I sat down to write. But as soon as I sat at the keyboard my youngest son, TJ, decided that now was a good time to tell me that he needed an alien costume for school – tomorrow! Of course, he hadn’t told me when school did, two weeks ago, and, of course, he had lost the letter telling panicked parents exactly what the plans for ‘Alien Day’ were.

So I did what any good parent would do – I got on Facebook and messaged other parents at the school to find out what I needed to do.

“It can be anything, a robot, an alien, an astronaut – the theme is space and you can either rent a costume or make...

03 Mar 2014

Two pairs of adult men's shoes and a pair of children's shoesPablo and Mike adopted their son Charlie when he was six years old. They tell us about their experiences as gay adopters to celebrate LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week (03-09 March 2014).

As gay adopters we feel we need to go the extra mile. We’re very aware that there are people out there who don’t think gay people should be allowed to adopt; people who want us to fail. I think this makes us more determined to succeed, but it also puts extra pressure on us to be “perfect dads”.

With regards to being gay parents, there are two issues I want to address: how Charlie feels about having two dads and our experience of how others feel about Charlie having two dads.

I’ll start with the latter. We’ve not experienced any hostility from school,...

24 Feb 2014

children playing instruments

Ruth and Ed Royce adopted two boys, Joe and Jack, who had experienced trauma and neglect in their birth families. Both boys had significant attachment difficulties. Here Ruth explains how therapy can play an important part in bringing adoptive families closer together.

People used to talk about the adoption triangle consisting of the child, the birth parents and the adopters. After ten years of being an adoptive parent, I think it should be a diamond made up of a child, adopted family, birth family and therapist. The diamond shape is more pleasing to look at and diamond stones radiate light, whereas a triangle is a mathematical inward looking shape. Diamonds are excellent abrasives and can be shaped by other diamonds – a fitting symbol of adoption.

Society recognises that the victims of airplane crashes, terrorist attacks and such like events need years of support,...

17 Feb 2014

My adoption storyIt was 56 years ago today that my 16 year old mother handed me over as a six month old baby to a tall lady wearing a hat with a veil, black suit and black gloves, no words were spoken.

I have a letter that says “the girl” (my birth mother) was provided with 2 shillings and 10 pennies to travel to the building on the opposite side of Waterloo Bridge. I was dressed in my best clothes and apparently looked beautiful.

She handed me over and the lady in black left through another door without a word or a backward glance, so my birth mother waited a few minutes and then left. When I traced her in 1982 she said that as she walked back across Waterloo Bridge she wanted to throw herself in. Thankfully she didn’t.

What a predicament to be in. Sixteen years old, her family had shunned her as they were strict Catholics and although she returned with me in her arms...