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  • The Adoption Process
  • Types of Adoption
  • Preparing for Adoption
  • FAQs
  • Adopter Stories
  • The Children
  • Ask the Adopter
  • Being an Adoptive Parent
  • LGBTQ+ Adoption
  • Early Permanence
  • Support and eLearning
  • Pre-Adoption
  • Post-Adoption
  • Adoption Support Fund
  • Education Support
  • Life Story Book
  • Training
  • Talking About Adoption
  • Support for Adopted Children
  • Support for Adopted Adults
  • Support for Birth Families
  • Adoption Support Training Hub
    • Leicester
    • Leicestershire
    • Lincolnshire and Rutland
    • North Lincolnshire
    • Northamptonshire

Support for

Support for adopted children

Adopted Children

“I wonder if anyone knows how I feel? Who could I talk to?”
“Does my birth family ever think of me?”
“Can I use Social Media?”
“If I talk about my birth family, will it upset my Mum or Dad?
“My friends are asking questions about adoption, what should I say?”

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As an adopted child or young person, you may have lots of thoughts and questions running through your mind. Here at Family Adoption Links, we understand how you may be feeling and can offer you lots of hints, tips and support to help you work them through.

To start off, if you’re feeling any of the statements mentioned above, here’s some suggestions of what you could do…

Mums and Dads do understand how you might feel, why not

  • Ask to share your Lifebook and talk about your feelings
  • If saying things out loud is hard to do, you could leave a note for them saying how you feel
  • Talk to a friend you can trust or a teacher you get on well with
  • Paint or draw your feelings and thoughts
  • Write some poems or start a feelings diary
  • If you still feel worried or sad, get your parent to call us. We can come to see you. We will listen and try and help you with your feelings
Who else can I talk to?

If you are unhappy about anything there are lots of people you can speak to. If you would like to speak to someone other than your Mum and Dad, you can contact us directly using the details below.

Family Adoption Links Leicester

0116 454 6540 (Monday – Thursday, 10am – 2pm)
Email

Family Adoption Links Leicestershire

0116 305 1126 (Wednesday, 9am – 12 noon)
Email

Family Adoption Links Lincolnshire and Rutland

01522 782111
Email

Family Adoption Links Northamptonshire

0300 1261008 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 4pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-1pm)
Email

Family Adoption Links North Lincolnshire

01724 297024
Email

Contact with your birth parents

You may wish to have some contact with your birth parents and this will have been given careful consideration when your adoption plan was agreed. Many adopted parents and birth parents have a voluntary agreement to use the letterbox service to send and receive updates up until you are 18. Your parent(s) will then choose whether or not to share this information with you.

Don’t forget, it can be very disappointing if you don’t receive contact from your birth family. Their life may be very different to yours, they may find it difficult to write or they may find it too upsetting. Try and remember that a lack of contact is no reflection on you.

Social media and you

Snapchat, Insta and Facebook are brilliant ways of staying in touch with friends and family. To keep yourself safe, don’t forget the following…

  • Set privacy settings on the sites you use – this will make sure that you control your personal information and who can access it
  • Let you parents follow your account so they can help you
  • Talk to your parents about what you would do if a member of your birth family got in touch
  • Talk through together what you might actually say. If the situation does arise having a plan in place means you will be more prepared
  • Don’t ‘friend’ anyone you don’t trust in the real world
  • Be careful what you post
    • Try and avoid photographs of you in your school uniform or with identifiable locations eg your school/local
    •  Don’t give away your location
Your Life Story Book

Before you were adopted your Adoption Social Worker created your Life Story Book so that you could make sense of your early life. This book is super useful if you wanted to talk to your parents about feelings that you can’t understand or if you wanted to look back and remember more about your childhood and birth family. Why not carry on with your life book and add all the memories, photographs and successes that you have achieved since being adopted? Don’t forget, if you’ve lost your book, your Social Worker has a copy too.

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A Child's Guide to Adoption

Please use the questions below to help your child to understand adoption.

Kids - you can read this section with your foster carer, Social Worker, teacher or share it with people who are special to you and ask them about anything that you don't understand, or tell them about how you feel.

These sections are designed to help you to understand what adoption is all about and to answer some of the questions you may have.

What is adoption?

We were all babies once and we all have a family, or a person that we were born to. We call this our ‘birth family’ and this might include Mum, Dad, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.

Sometimes the families that children are born into cannot look after them. Some parents find it difficult to manage to look after children properly.

Some parents hurt their children in different ways and it is important that children do not get hurt.

Some birth families might might understand that they can’t look after their child properly and agree that it would be better for their child not to live with them.

Some birth families don’t want their children to stop living with them even though they can’t look after them properly or keep them safe. A Social Worker will then go and see the judge who will decide whether the child can still live with their birth family.

What is a social worker?

A Social Worker is someone whose job it is to help people when they have problems.

Sometimes they have to help families if they are worried about the children or think that the family needs help.

They may find a foster family for the child to live in, just like the family you are living with now until they decide what is best for the child or children.

What is a judge?

A judge works in a court where all sorts of decisions are made. He or she is the person who makes the decisions. Courts can also help to try and solve problems, particularly in families.

And they can make decisions about children, to make sure that they are looked after and safe.

One of the decisions made in a court, by a judge, is whether or not you should live with your birth family. If it is decided that a child cannot live with his or her birth family, it is sometimes agreed that the child should move to live with a new family – and this is what adoption is. Adoption means that you will go to live with a family that will look after you and to whom you will belong. They will become your parents and any children in the family will become your brother or your sister.

This doesn’t mean that you have to forget about your birth family.

Sometimes it is okay for children to keep in touch with some members of their birth family, if it is safe, and if that’s what they want. This might mean that they can see them now and then, or it might mean that they can send letters. Sometimes the grown-ups will make the decision that it is better for you not to stay in touch with people.

They will talk to you about this and explain the reasons. Even if it is decided that you should not stay in touch with your birth family, you can always ask questions about them. Birth parents can still love their child even if they can’t look after them properly or keep them safe.

What about my brothers and sisters?

Sometimes your brothers and sisters may be in foster care with you. Although the Social Workers try very hard to keep brothers and sisters together, that is not always possible. If you had to go to a different foster family than your brothers or sisters, your Social Worker will have tried to keep you in touch with one another. If you cannot go to the same new family, the Social Worker will try to make sure that you can stay in touch with one another, though again, that it is not always possible.

Where do adopters come from?

There are some families who would like to have a child to come to live with them and belong to them. Some of these families might not have had any children born to them; some may have children; some may have grown up children; some may have adopted before. Before they can have a child come to live with them, a lot of time is spent by Social Workers getting to know them and they have to show that they can look after children properly and keep them safe. Social Workers will try to find the right family for you. Your Social Worker will talk to you about how they are looking for a family and you can talk to them about what is important for you about a family. When they think that they have found the right family for you, your Social Worker will tell you all about them and maybe show you some pictures or a video. They will then arrange for the family to come and visit you so they you can start to get to know them and they can start to get to know you. You will have the chance to spend some time with them, perhaps having some days out and doing things together, so that you can get to know them more and more.

When can I live with my new family?

Your Social Worker will visit you and see how you are getting on and how you feel about what’s happening. When you and everyone else feel that you know each other enough and are happy to take the next step, you will go and live with them. If you feel unhappy you should talk to your Social Worker, foster carer, teacher or someone special to you. Sometimes children feel a bit muddled with all that is going on and talking to someone makes them feel better. It is important that you try and say, or draw, what you feel.

Once I go and live with them, does that mean I am adopted?

No. Not straight away. Your Social Worker will visit you in your new family and talk to you about how you are settling in and see if you have any worries.

When you have lived with your new family for a while and everyone feels that it is right to take the next step, your new parents will ask a court if they can adopt you.

A judge at the court will set a date when you and your new family and your Social Worker can go and meet him or her, to talk about how things have been going. If everything seems fine, the judge makes something called an Adoption Order and that is when you legally become a part of your new family.

That means that you belong to them and they belong to you, but it still doesn’t mean that you have to forget about your birth family or that they have to forget about you. You can ask questions and talk about them with your new family.

Will I still go to the same school?

It really depends on how far away from your school that your new family lives. You may have to change schools but everyone will try to help you, to make sure that you settle in well.

Can I still see my friends?

Again, it depends on where your new family lives. But they will do all they can to help you to stay in touch with your friends and to help you to make new ones.

What if I don't feel happy about what's happening?

Sometimes children, when they are first told about being adopted, can feel a bit sad or a bit worried. You might feel like that. You might feel quite happy and settled with your foster carers and don’t want to move. Or you might feel you are losing your birth family. If you feel unhappy you should talk to your Social Worker, foster carer or a trusted grown-up. If you feel unhappy after you have moved to your new family you might feel able to talk to them about how you feel. You could also talk to the Social Workers who work in the adoption team who will be visiting your new family to see how things are going.

Useful information

The following organisations are independent, which means that they don’t work for Family Adoption Links (the agency that is making the decisions for you). They will help to make sure that your views are heard if you don’t think that you are being listened to.

Voices of the Child in Care

0800 800 5792
info@vcc-uk.org

Talk Adoption

Talk Adoption will listen to you about anything to do with adoption.

0808 808 1234
helpline@talkadoption.org.uk

Childline

Childline will listen to you about anything and particularly help children who are being hurt.

0800 884444

Children’s Legal Centre

Where children can be heard and find out about your rights.

01206 873 820

Children’s Commissioner for England

The Children’s Commissioner for England listens to what children and young people have to say about how they are looked after. The team are responsible for the rights of all children and young people until they are 18 years old, or 25 years if they have been in care, are care leavers or have a disability.

www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk

What was my life like before I was adopted?

You may have a life story book or a letter telling you about your life before you were adopted. If you don’t have a life story book, one of our workers can make one for you. This tells you all about your journey, including your birth family and your adoptive family.

Books you may like to read

‘The most precious present in the world’ by Becky Edwards

‘The story of Tracy Beaker’ by Jacqueline Wilson

‘A safe place for Rufus’ by Jill Seeney

‘Morris and the bundle of worries’ by Jill Seeney

Can I get help and support after my adoption?

Absolutely, The support teams at Family Adoption Links are here to help at every stage of your adoption journey.

If you need support once you’ve been adopted, a worker can talk to you over the phone or can come and visit you to talk about your worries or answer your questions. They will complete a form to find out what help you might need and then put together a support plan to make sure you get the help you need.

Everything you say to your Social Worker will be kept confidential. If there is any information your worker can’t keep confidential, they will tell you. This would be very serious information such as if they feel you or others may be at risk of harm.

How can I get support after my adoption?

Simply get in touch with the agency that adopted you. If that was Family Adoption Links, their details are below.

Once the team understands the support you need, a Social Worker will talk to you and your parent(s) and agree your support plan. They will then start to work with you on this.

Family Adoption Links Leicester

0116 454 6540 (Monday – Thursday, 10am – 2pm)
Email

Family Adoption Links Leicestershire

0116 305 1126 (Wednesday, 9am – 12 noon)
Email

Family Adoption Links Lincolnshire and Rutland

01522 782111
Email

Family Adoption Links Northamptonshire

0300 1261008 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 4pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-1pm)

Email

Family Adoption Links North Lincolnshire

01724 297024
Email