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Read, Listen, Watch

We recommend finding out as much as you can about adoption before, during and after the adoption process. The following is a list of media and books that many of our adoptive parents and social workers have found useful. If you notice that we’ve missed a great book you’ve read or podcast you’ve listened to about adoption or would like to review a book then please let us know by emailing us at:  contact@adopt4vvc.org.

CoramBAAF also have a comprehensive list of books and resources for adopters and children. Find out more by visiting their website.

Guides and Books for Adults 

  •  No Matter What – Sally Donovan
     ‘No Matter What’ is a first-hand account of the adoption process written by an adoptive mother. Sally tells the story of her and her husband Rob and their journey from a diagnosis of infertility to their decision to adopt to post adoption. She talks honestly about the couple’s difficulties living with infertility, making the decision to adopt and the process of adoption. An easy going, heartfelt read that gives an insight into the process of adoption and attachment issues. 
  •  What to expect when you’re adopting – Dr Ian Palmer 
     What to expect when you are adopting is a non-fiction guide that explains the realities of adopting and what to expect at each stage. The book covers a range of topics and is good for reference at different points in the adoption process. 
  •  A Guide for Gay Dads – Stonewall 

     A Guide for Gay Dads is a great resource, written by Stonewall for male couples and gay single men who are looking into the routes to becoming a dad. The guide covers the range of options available including adoption. It also contains stories from dads about a range of topics and there is advice and guidance covering specific concerns and questions gay males may have. You can read the guide for free: A Guide for Gay Dads

  • Related by Adoption – Heidi Argent
    Related by adoption is a handbook for family members who become related to children through adoption e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. Adoption effects the whole family and different members might have different questions specific to the role that they will play in the child / children’s life. This handbook is a good guide for relatives and can be used to inform and create discussion around modern adoption within your family.   
  •  Flying Solo - Julia Wise

    Flying Solo is a first-hand account of adoption from an adoptive mother’s perspective. Throughout the book Julia shares her experiences of change from being a career focused, single women to becoming an adoptive, single parent.

    She talks about the reality of the highs and lows of adopting, dealing with society’s attitudes towards single parenting, adopting her son and how adopting changed every aspect of her life. The book is an open, honest and thought provoking read for anyone considering adopting. 

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Podcasts, Films, Series and Youtube for Adults 

  •  The Adoption – BBC Radio 4

    The Adoption is a series of seventeen podcasts from the BBC. It follows the real life story of Bethany and Ben’s adoption over nineteen months. The series highlights the UK adoption process through the eyes of those affected including the children, birth parents, extended family, social workers, foster parents and adoptive parents. Each episode is between ten and fifteen minutes long. You can find the whole series on BBC Radio 4 or on the Podcast App on iOS. 

  • Vale, Valleys and Cardiff - Youtube

    Our Youtube channel is the place where we share the stories of our adopters, our news and any other visual resources that we create: Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Youtube

  •  Coram - Youtube 

    Coram / Coran Baff are a charity who work with adoptive parents and adopted children as well as professionals. Their Youtube channel highlights some of the work that they do including working with adopted children and young adults and people who are looking to adopt: Coram Youtube 

  • Adoption UK - Youtube 

    Adoption UK are a charity who work with adoptive parents and adopted children. Their Youtube channel includes some interesting interviews from BBC’s The One Show: Adoption UK Youtube

  • Find me a family – Available onYoutube (originally produced by the BBC)

    A two part series looking at the lives of 11 children in Northern Ireland. The care system in Northern Ireland is slightly different Wales however the documentary explains some of the early life experiences and some of the reasons why children are planned for adoption. The documentary also covers a range of different adoption topics including contact with birth family and adoptive families with children already living with them.

    You can watch the series here:

     

  • ReMoved 

    ReMoved is a short film following the emotional journey of a nine-year old girl, Zoe who has to leave her birth home and is placed in foster care system (USA). In the sequel ‘Remember My Story’ Zoe deals with the court system, foster home life, her birth mom's attempts at getting her life together, the loss of her brother and her future. Although American fostering and adoption is often very different to the UK system these films highlight some of the emotional upheaval faced by children who have entered the care system.

    The films explore how these experiences can impact children’s behaviour and understanding of the world around them and why therapeutic parenting and support are so important: ReMoved Series 

  • Instant Family 

    Instant Family is American comedy film starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as married couple Pete and Ellie Wagner who foster and subsequently adopt three children. 

    Director, Sean Anders, is an adoptive father himself and wrote the storyline based on some of his own families experiences. The film highlights the need for foster and adoptive parents internationally.

    Although the UK adoption process differs from American adoption the film is fantastic for those looking to build an understanding of the positives of fostering and adopting alongside the realities of the struggles of adapting to family life together.

  •  Lion

    Lion is a 2016 biographical film based on the non-fiction book ‘A Long Way Home’ written by Saroo Brierley. 

    The film follows the story of Saroo, a five-year-old boy who gets separated from his brother on the streets of Calcutta. Saroo ends up, hundreds of miles from home in a children’s home and subsequently gets adopted by a couple who live in Australia. The film follows Saroo’s journey to Australia; settling into a new family and culture. Saroo’s adoptive parents go on adopt another child whose behaviour is massively impacted by trauma and the film explores how this further impacts the family dynamics. In his 20s Saroo sets out to find his mum and brother and eventually find his home town.

    The film highlights loss, grief, trauma, behaviour, family, love, reconciliation and the fundamental need of a person to understand their life story.  

  • An Adoption Story - Jillian Lauren, TEDxChapmanU 

    Jillian Lauren is an American adoptive mother who tell her adoption story from her perspective as both an adoptive mother and an adoptive person. She reflects on family, identity and love during her TEDxChapmanU Talk: An Adoption Story

  •  Two Mums - Lynne Elvins, TEDxBristol

    Lynne and her partner Emma, became the first gay couple to be approved for adoption in Bristol, UK in 2004. Lynne shares their story of adopting their son Steven during her TEDxBristol talk: Two Mums

Blogs and Vlogs / Advocates and Influencers for Adults 

  •  The Unlikely Dad

    Tom is adoptive dad to Kai. With beautiful photography, lots of posts about adoption, day to day life being a dad and some collab posts: The Unlikely Dad

    He is also on:

     

  • Suddenly Mummy

    Suddenly Mummy is a single mother who talks about her experiences fostering and adopting. She posts about her experiences as a single adopter and talks about subjects such as behaviour, education and trauma: Suddenly Mummy

  • Stevie Blaine

    Stevie (and occasionally his partner Sam) talk in their vlogs about the UK adoption process. The couple vlog through the process of adoption which they are undertaking with their local council. Although the adoption process varies slightly across the UK Stevie’s vlogs give a great insight into the process and are relatable: Stevie Blaine

  • Daddy and Dad

    Daddy and dad is a blog by Jamie and Tom who are daddy and dad to Lyall and Richard. Jamie and Tom blogged the process of adoption and now talk about their day to day life as dads. There is also a section of the website dedicated to stories from other LGBT parents: Daddy and Dad 

  • Aimee Vlog

    Aimee is an adoptive mother who vlogs about her experiences of fostering and adopting two children in the UK system. She talks about the process of adoption, contact with birth parents and the celebration day amongst general mum life.

    Aimme can be found on:

     

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Useful Websites for Adults

  • National Adoption Service for Wales (NAS Cymru)

    Promotes and supports best practice in adoption across Wales.

     

  • British Association of Adoption and Fostering

    National organisation providing information and training.

     

  • Adoption UK 

    Adoption UK is a charity that provides support, community and advocacy for all those parenting or supporting children who cannot live with their birth parents. They also run a hotline which can be accessed by prospective adopters which is available Monday – Friday, 10am - 2.30pm and have information that they can send out via email request.

    •          029 2023 0319
  • After Adoption 

    Support for adopted people and families.

     

  • New Family Social 

    New Family Social is the only LGBT+ adoption and fostering charity in the UK. They support LGBT+ adoptive and fostering families by offering resources and advice. 

    As a member agency of New Family Social our adopters are not only supported by our team but can also access the resources and expertise of New Family Social. 

    You can also connect with New Family Social in your local community by attending events and connecting on social media:

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Information for adults who are blind or partially sighted

  •  Vale, Valleys and Cardiff 

    We have experience assessing couples who are blind and partially sighted and can offer advice and support on the phone or via email. Some of our adopters and prospective adopters have recommended the following information and links for people who are interested in finding out more about parenting as someone who is blind or partially sighted or caring for a child who is blind or partially sighted.

     If you find any further information around this topic that you think could be useful to our parents please forward it to us. We are always looking to expand our resources and love a good recommendation. 

    Email them to:

  •  RNIB Cymru
    RNIB Cymru (Royal National Institute of Blind People, Wales) is Wales’ largest sight loss organisation. RNIB provide a wide range of services and support to blind and partially sighted people well as campaigning for service improvements and to prevent avoidable sight loss. RNIB Cymru can provide advice and support on looking after a child as a parent with sight loss, as well as connect you with support groups and local events for families depending on where you live. 
    The contact details for RNIB are: 
    RNIB Cymru, Jones Court, Womanby Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BR
    RNIB have a members group called RNIB Connect which is free to join: RNIB Connect.
    For local services you can use the RNIB's Sightline Directory which is a directory of organisations for people with sight loss: RNIB Sightline Directory.
    RNIB have collaborated with Blind Mums Connect to create a video called ‘What is being a blind mum really like?’ This video explores the experiences of three mums, Madleen, Hetal and Rachel who are blind mums. You can find it here: What is being a blind mum is really like?
    Our adopters advise us that if you contact RNIB directly they will offer you specific support and advice and can send audio copies of information where required. 
  • Blind Mums Connect 

    Blind Mums Connect is a group set up by visually impaired mums and dads from all over the UK. To find out more you can visit: Blind Mums Connect or contact them on social media: @blindmums. This group was recommended by RNIB to one of our adopters.

    Blind Mums Connect have collaborated with RNIB to create a video called ‘What is being a blind mum really like?’ This video explores the experiences of three mums, Madleen, Hetal and Rachel who are blind mums. You can find it here: What is being a blind mum really like?

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Books for Children 

  •  The Teazlers’ Baby Bunny – Susan Bagnall
     ‘The Teazlers’ Baby Bunny’ tells the story of the preparation and the time leading up to the arrival of a baby bunny to the Teazler’ family. The aim of the book is to familiarise children with the idea of adoption. The book comes with a handy guide for parents which explains how to use the book to create discussion around adoption. The book is aimed at children aged two years+. 
  • The Most Precious Present in the World – Becky Edwards 
     In ‘The Most Precious Present in the World’ Mia, an adopted child, is feeling confused and sad because she doesn’t look like her mum and dad. Throughout the book Mia’s mum explains to her that her birth mum and dad gave her gifts that make her look like them but that her birth parents gave her mum and dad the most precious gift in the world, which is her. This book is great to read with children to start discussions around identity. It can also help children feel reassured that they can speak about their life story and that they are loved and safe in their new family.  
  • A Safe Place for Rufus – Jill Seeney
    Rufus the cat moves in with a new family and has to learn how to overcome his fears and learn his new home is safe and permanent and the new family love him. This book helps children feel reassured that it’s okay to find change hard and it helps them to discover that just like Rufus they can find ways to get rid of their fears and feel safe. The book comes with a handy guide for parents which explains how to use the book to create discussion around adoption and feeling safe. The book is aimed at children aged three years+.
  • Nutmeg Gets Adopted – Judith Foxon
    Nutmeg Gets Adopted is the story of Nutmeg, a young squirrel and his family. Nutmeg’s birth family are unable to look after him and his siblings so Beth Badger has to find them a new family; first a foster family and then a forever family. The book is a great resource to start to talk to children about their life-story. The book gives the child an opportunity to ask why they had to leave home and any questions they have about why this happened and help them talk about their feelings about being adopted. The book comes with a guide which explains how to use the book to create discussion. This book is ideal for children who are waiting for an adoptive family, or who have recently been placed. The book is part of series of books that help adopted children to understand different topics that may affect them. 
  • Chester and Daisy Move On - Angela Lidster
    Chester and Daisy live with their birth bear family but when things start to go wrong they have to move to a new family. The story explains to children that sometimes birth parents can’t look after their little bears and that’s why they are placed with a new family. The book is helpful to explain to children the path they are taking / took to living with their new family. The book explains thoughts and feelings and looks at letterbox contact.     
  • And Tango Makes Three – Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell 
     ‘And Tango Makes Three’ explores same sex parents and adoption. Roy and Silo, two male penguins see all the other heterosexual penguins having babies and want to start a family of their own. The keeper brings them an egg so that they can have their own baby. 
  • The Family Fairies - Rosemary Lucas

    The Family Fairies is a rhyming children’s book written by one of our adopters, Rosemary Lucas. The book is based on Rosemary’s own adoption journey and tells the story of a mummy and a daddy who want to have a family and ask for the help of two ‘Family Fairies’ aka two social workers.

    Rosemary’s debut book is just one of the stories that she has created for her own adopted children to explain how their family was formed. The book explains the adoption process in a fun and accessible way with colourful illustrations and really makes the story of adopting come to life.

    Rosemary hopes this book will be the start of a series of books which will help children and adults alike understand adoption in a clearer and more vivid way and spark wider interest in adopting as a pathway to starting or extending a family. 

    To find out, more follow Rosemary on:

     

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Films and Series for Children 

  • Goodnight Mr Tom 

    Based on the 1981 award winning book by Michelle Magorian and set during the Second World War, ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ is the story of Willie Beech and Tom Oakley’s adjustment to living together. Willie is evacuated from London during the Blitz. The story highlights the adjustment for adults and children to leaving together and the bonds that can be formed. During the film Willie remembers his time with his mother and the film explores his childhood experiences including separation and neglect along with Tom’s experience of having a new child in his life.

    The film can be used to open up discussion around adoption, birth families, trauma, neglect, separation, identity, early life experiences and for conversation about family life together.  

  • Inside Out - Pixar

    When Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moves to San Francisco because of her dads new job Riley’s emotions; Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness are thrown into confusion. Riley’s emotions live in ‘Headquarters’ (inside Riley's mind). Although Joy, Riley's primary emotion, tries to keep things positive, the other emotions conflict on how best to navigate her new environment. The film also explores that the adults around her also have emotions that drive their behaviours and actions. This is a great film for creating discussion around emotions and change. 

  • Mathilda

    Mathilda is the story of a girl who suffers emotional and physical neglect and verbal abuse from her birth family. Mathilda meets characters through the story who shape her understanding of the world around her. The story also talks about Miss Honey, Mathilda’s teacher’s relationship with her aunt after the loss of her father. This film can open up discussions around some of the reasons children are placed for adoption, their negative early life experiences and how your past doesn’t have to define your future.

  • Bedtime Stories on CBeebies read by Will Young (Story: Two Dads by Carolyn Robertson) 

    Will Young read ‘Two Dads’ by Carolyn Robertson on CBeebies Bedtime Stories in 2019. Two Dads is a story about a little boy who has been adopted and finds out that having two dads is double the fun: Two Dads.

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