April 2024 Information Evening 

We will be holding our next information evening in April. If you are interested in adopting and would like to attend please fill out our enquiry form or call us on 0800 023 4064. 


Blog and News

  • National Adoption Week 2023

    16 October, 2023

    This National Adoption Week (16-22 October), the National Adoption Service for Wales (NAS) is continuing its mission to get more people to consider adoption, as sibling groups, children with additional needs, and older children across Wales still wait to find their ‘forever home’.

    Working to challenge misconceptions around adoption, NAS is launching a series of informative videos to help people who believe they can’t adopt to consider enquiring.

    This National Adoption Week, NAS hopes to change the general public’s perceptions through myth-busting outdated ideas and sharing first-hand experiences.

    Adopters from across Wales have become involved in the campaign, featuring in videos and writing blogs to inform others. Faith, who adopted a sibling group through Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Service (VVC), explained why she got involved:

    “We’d already considered adoption but when we found out that even if we'd had IVF, I wouldn't be able to carry to full term, we started to consider it more seriously. When the social worker said that we were suitable not only for a two-sibling group, but a larger one, it shocked us but it was like, oh my goodness, this could become a reality. My partner and I had lots of discussions, one of the first being, is our house big enough? When we went to our family and friends, we thought there’d be some resistance – we’d gone from being a couple to a large family - but instead, they just gave us love and support. Even though our family is far bigger than we could ever have imagined, it was the best thing because we kept these siblings together.”

    In addition to sharing adoption stories, the National Adoption Service for Wales has been increasing knowledge about adoption with communities across the UK, through their award-winning podcast, Truth Be Told: Adoption Stories.

    The two series of the bilingual podcast, which featured stories from seven adoptive families alongside a special episode, produced and hosted by adopted young people, was praised for its candid look at adoption.

    Tasha, a teacher who adopted two siblings with additional learning needs through Adoption Mid and West Wales and took part in series one of the podcast, explained:

    “When I sent my email of interest [for adoption], my family were telling me that ‘they’ wouldn’t want me because I’m single, I’ve got a full-time job, I’ve got a dog. I thought ‘Why wouldn’t they want me? I went in very open-minded. I obviously had to consider that my family live 2 ½ hours away, however, I was aware that a lot of older children (school age upwards) are often waiting the longest. My social worker was great, and I’d been in touch with the foster family. So, when I brought them home, I didn’t abandon the routine they’d built up at their foster carer’s house. I even kept a chocolate milkshake for before bed as that’s what their foster carers did. My daughter was quite sensitive to some things, and we worked on them with her over time. Noticing that she was starting to let go of these triggers was a sign to me, that she was going in the right direction.”

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of the National Adoption Service for Wales and Foster Wales said:

    “We hope that during this year’s National Adoption Week, people thinking about adopting across Wales will find the information being shared helpful and inspiring. We aim to answer many of the questions they might have about adopting a sibling group, children with more complex needs or an older child. Our services are always happy to provide more information.”

  • The National Adoption Service launches new guide to support businesses

    14 August, 2023

    Officially launched at the National Eisteddfod 2023, the National Adoption Service's new ‘Adoption in your business’ employer toolkit has been created to offer guidance on how businesses can adapt their HR policies to feel empowered to discuss and share the topic of adoption with employees and to be more supportive of the adoption community.

    As of 2023, Wales is currently home to over 4,400 adopters - with over 300 more also going through the adoption process.

    Adoptive parents have statutory rights to adoption leave in the workplace; however, some businesses don’t currently factor in the time required for the training, assessment and the other processes adopters have to navigate during the adoption process and beyond.

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of the National Adoption Service and Foster Wales says:

    “Whilst adopters are provided with support throughout the adoption process, subsequent support is also required from employers to help adopters and those waiting for a child to join their family. It’s important that businesses are enabled with more knowledge on adoption, so they can provide the right support to their employees. Support can be reflected through HR policies, within adoption leave policies for new adopters and also within flexible working policies for people going through the process. We're proud to have produced this toolkit and we hope that it will assist businesses to confidently support adopters and waiting adopters and, if they haven’t already, to develop policies that are supportive of all parental circumstances. Likewise, employers can also sign up to the ‘The Fostering Network’s Fostering Friendly Employer’s Scheme’ and we would encourage them to do so.”

    The employer toolkit was launched at the National Eisteddfod in Boduan in August 2023. The National Adoption Service for Wales and Foster Wales teamed up and together presented a panel with adoption and fostering-friendly businesses. The panel, hosted by the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, featured an adopter and foster carer from Wales as they discussed the importance of flexible working policies and parental leave that is reflective of modern families in Wales.


  • Wales tops the UK in vital support to help adopted children understand their life stories, new research from Adoption UK shows

    26 May, 2023

    Wales tops UK nations when it comes to helping adopted children understand the early part of their lives, thanks to government prioritisation of this work since 2019. Elsewhere in the UK, children’s sense of security and identity, and their later mental wellbeing in teenage years and adulthood, are being put at risk because of a failure of ‘life story’ support, new research from Adoption UK reveals: Adoption UK Barometer 2023

    For many adopted people, trauma experienced before they were adopted, along with the loss of identity involved in being separated from their birth family, has lifelong implications. So-called ‘life story work’ involves helping an adopted child understand their own history and the reasons why they were adopted.

    Adoption experts and psychologists widely recognise the vital importance of understanding your early history, as part of shaping a healthy sense of identity. Methods used in life story work can include activities such as play and counselling, and using materials such as life story books, which explain a child’s early story in an age-appropriate way, and ‘later life letters’ that are written for children to read when they become older.

    72% of UK adoptive parents said they were happy with the quality of the life story materials they received, a figure that has barely changed in 5 years. In Wales, this figure was 86% - and it represents an increase of 30% compared to 5 years ago.

    The number of families receiving life story materials soon after adopting was also higher in Wales, giving adoptive parents in Wales a head start in supporting their children.  

    Ann Bell, Wales Director for Adoption UK, said:

    “Life story materials are a vital way to help adopted children understand their background and why they were adopted. Alongside arrangements to maintain birth family links, where it is safe to do so, these materials can play a crucial role in creating a clearer sense of identity, and strong foundations for teenage years and later life. Bold action by the Welsh government shows that proper investment in life story work reaps rewards. Governments across the UK should quickly follow suit.”

    The figures come from Adoption UK’s fifth annual Adoption Barometer report, the most comprehensive stocktake of adoption in the UK. It surveyed nearly 3,000 adoptive families, prospective adopters and adopted people over 18, 150 of whom live in Wales. The report offers a rich picture of the impact of adoption policy and practice in the lives of adopted people and adopters across the UK.    

    Director of the National Adoption Service (NAS), Suzanne Griffiths, said:

    “The AUK Barometer report once again paints a positive picture of adoption in Wales as well as identifying where further improvement is needed. We are proud to see Wales leading the way in helping adopted children understand the early part of their lives. Life journey work supports our focus on understanding identity as an adopted person, and is aimed at all those involved in adoption, including social workers and families. It hugely encouraging to hear the vast majority of adoptive parents in Wales are now happy with the quality of the life story materials they receive, compared to five years ago. Last year, we announced the introduction of the Adoption Support Commitment, the first of its kind in the UK, ensuring adopters in Wales have support during every step of their journey. NAS will continue to work with adoptive parents, children, and young people to ensure all those involved in the adoption process receive the support they need.”

    Helen Cruthers, a Psychotherapist in Adoption UK’s Psychology and Therapy Hub (PATH), who has worked with families for 30 years and specialised in the adoption and fostering field for the past 15, said:

    “I see first-hand the difference that life story work makes – both the good that comes from doing it well, and the problems that come from a lack of it, especially in the teenage years and in later life. One of the saddest things is when kids who don’t have a full and clear and full explanation of their early life and their adoption do what vulnerable kids often do: blame themselves, or think there must have been something wrong with them. When you think in those terms, you can see why it matters so much to explain their early life to them, and why the investment Wales has made in this area is so incredibly valuable.”

    Sophia (not her real name), an adoptive parent, said:

    “My husband and I adopted older siblings, aged six and four at the time of placement who, like all care experienced children, have a unique and complex life story. Their social worker worked proactively with us in preparing their life story books, including sharing drafts. This was really important to ensure we felt comfortable in using the material with the children and building on the narrative as they grow up. The books have really helped us to have regular and honest conversations as a family. The children are becoming more confident in their identity. Critically, I think the materials, and how we use them, have really established safe and trusting relationships to talk openly, without shame.”

  • UK’s first podcast from young adopted people launched

    29 March, 2023

    In a UK podcasting first, a group of young, adopted people have come together to produce and present a bilingual podcast episode, sharing their personal experiences of adoption and being adopted.

    In a special edition of the hugely popular Truth Be Told; Adoption Stories podcast, made on behalf of the National Adoption Service for Wales, nine adopted people, from the ages of 13 to 26 chat to each other about adoption, how it has shaped elements of their lives, and the importance of putting adopted people at the heart of all services. The episode explores a diverse range of experiences and emotions related to growing up as an adopted person.

    Charlotte, 26, features throughout the episode:

    "I was lucky that my parents always gave me age-appropriate information, I was always told what I needed to know at the right stage of my life. I was always told important things, even if sometimes it took me a bit longer to understand it all. But, with adoption, whilst you have this new family, you’re also experiencing a loss of birth parents and a whole different family and so everyone processes things differently."

    Through the course of the episode, the contributors discuss common misconceptions and prejudices they have encountered, and highlight the need to continue challenging out-dated perceptions around adoption.

    Sarah is 13, and lives in North Wales;

    "Little kids don’t really understand things that well, so they used to say: "Oh your mum and dad gave you away, they don’t love you." These days, people are beginning to understand more about adoption."

    The young people in the episode are members of the Connected group and Connect Youth Council, run by the charity Adoption UK on behalf of the National Adoption Service for Wales.The group regularly meets both online and in person, and provides a safe space for the young people to participate in activities, connect with other young adopted people, and facilitate collaboration with policymakers across Wales and the UK, including Welsh Government, to advise on adoption processes and support.

    Charlotte, touches upon the support she receives from the Connected groups:

    "The groups give me a really space safe to explore my feelings and ask questions such as ‘is this normal? Why am I feeling like this?’ with trained youth workers and that helps massively, I am able to make friends and build confidence. Some of the things I would never have done had it not been for the group, especially being given multiple opportunities to make sure the voices of adopted people are heard at very important meetings."

    The episode was produced by the young people over the course of a year, supported by staff from the National Adoption Service, dedicated youth workers, podcast production specialists: Bengo Media, and strategic communications consultants: Cowshed Communication.

    Development of the episode included webinars, training evenings and collaborative sessions for the contributors, exploring the podcasting industry, practical production skills, editorial considerations, powerful storytelling and confidence building. It is hoped the skills gained through the process will enable those involved to pursue further opportunities in this field.

    Charlotte, comments on her experience of producing the podcast:

    "It really does take a team to get a podcast done and everyone at Bengo Media, Cowshed and the National Adoption Service for Wales were instrumental to us throughout the planning, producing & recording stages of the podcast. Everyone involved was thoughtful, kind and really afforded us a safe space to talk about our experiences with adoption and I can't thank them enough. My favourite part was meeting everyone from Bengo Media and Cowshed in person on recording day because all the planning had been done via Zoom, so seeing everyone together felt like the puzzle was complete. It was also so lovely to be given the opportunity to talk about the different situations adopted people face and to record a podcast with friends was super cool too! I hope that anyone who listens to the podcast does so with an open mind and heart. I know how hard it can be to empathise with a situation you haven't been through or don't know much about, but having an open mind and being prepared to listen will help an adopted person massively. We just want to be heard and feel valued in society."

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of the National Adoption Service for Wales, says:

    “The National Adoption Service is proud of the fact that many of the changes in adoption that have happened in Wales have happened as a result of listening to our service users and responding to what they tell us. We’re therefore absolutely delighted that the young people have had the opportunity to be involved in this podcast and have felt able to share their thoughts and feelings with us in such an open and honest way. Their stories are so important in not only helping us to understand, but also for anyone thinking about adoption to learn what it feels like for the children and young people.”

    Ann Bell, Director of Adoption UK Cymru, says:

    "We are in awe of the wonderful young people from all over Wales who have taken part in the podcast. It is never easy for them to share their stories as it can be traumatic and exhausting. One of the young people, Keira May, is looking forward to sharing the podcast in her school assembly. She hopes it will help others learn about adoption and what it is like to be adopted. We're immensely proud of the CONNECT service and the way they have supported the young people to participate at every stage."

    To listen to the podcast, or for more information on adoption in Wales visit the NAS website.

  • Big Adoption Conversation 2023

    31 January, 2023

    During this year’s (2023) Big Adoption Conversation event, which brought together the adoption community to discuss the priorities for adoption in Wales, The Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan made a personal apology to those affected by historic adoption practices.

    Julie Morgan said:

    “Whilst forced adoption practices predate devolution in Wales, they have a lasting legacy on all those who experienced them – for both the parents and the children. I want to put on record my profound sympathy to all those who have been affected by historic forced adoption. To all the victims, I would like to convey my deepest sympathy and regret that due to society failing you, you had to endure such appalling historical practices. For this I am truly sorry.”

    Julie Morgan's full statement can be read here.

    The personal apology comes after the Joint Committee on Human Rights published its recommendations, following an inquiry to understand the experiences of unmarried women whose children were adopted between 1949 and 1976 in England and Wales.

    The National Adoption Service for Wales welcomed the inquiry’s recommendations when they were published in July 2022, and although adoption legislation and practices have been significantly strengthened since, we continue to work closely with Welsh Government to further improve services in Wales. The National Adoption Service for Wales holds deepest sympathy for all affected. The injustice of these historical practices should continue to be acknowledged.

    Adoption has changed considerably since that time and is now considered for children only when other options have been fully explored. Services aim to help birth families to stay together wherever that is possible, and where this is not, adoption provides children with safety and the opportunity to thrive.

    If you’re an adopted adult, birth parent or another birth relative affected by historic adoptions in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, there are a range of existing services that can support you. You can seek advice and support from your local adoption agency, to help you explore what help may be available to you locally to deal with the impact of the historic adoption of your child. Contact details for all the adoption agencies in Wales can be found on the National Adoption Service website.

    As well as the statutory adoption agencies, there are other organisations that can help those affected by adoption. Some of these services are available at little or no cost, while for others the cost is greater. Adoption UK and its Welsh branch, Adoption UK Cymru, is a charitable organisation, which operates a free helpline for adopted people and adoptive parents and also offers a support service for adopted adults, who subscribe to this service: Adoption UK Support for adopted people 

    The website Adoption Search and Reunion is intended to be the first port of call for anyone thinking about tracing for or making contact with birth and adopted relatives or retracing an adoption that took place in the UK.

    Another source of information and advice for adopted adults anywhere in the UK is Family Connect.

    To find out details of other services, including those that offer a fee-based service, please contact your local adoption agency, who will be able to advise you about the range of services available locally and nationally. Some of the services operating across the UK can help with access to records and others may also be able to assist where both parties want to reconnect by offering what is known as an intermediary service.

    Some of the organisations are charities and others are private businesses and this is reflected in the costs for their services. All organisations providing these services must be registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) or Ofsted in England.

    Access to records and intermediary services

    All five Regional Adoption Services in Wales, based in local authorities can help with access to records. This is statutory duty. They may also be able offer an intermediary service. Unlike access to birth records for adopted people, this is a discretionary service. There is no charge for either of these services, but capacity is limited, and you may have to wait for a while before you can see someone.

    Organisations that offer services including access to birth records and/or intermediary services other than the regional adoption services within Wales are listed below. All these organisations will also provide some emotional support. In some cases that will be provided by an adoption social worker in others by a trained counsellor or therapist.

    Adoption Finder Intermediary Service: This is the only such agency based in Wales and able to offer a service through the medium of Welsh. It offers an access to birth records, tracing and intermediary services. 

    CMB Counselling: This organisation offers adoption support services to adopted people, birth relatives of adopted people and descendants of those adopted before 30th December 2005.

    Father Hudson’s Care This charitable agency offers support to all those affected by adoption, including tracing and intermediary services.

    Joanna North Associates Ltd: This company offers a range of services to adopted adults and birth relatives, including access to birth records, counselling, tracing and intermediary services.

    PAC-UK: This is an organisation operating UK wide. It has a specialist service which provides support for adults adopted as children, and for adults otherwise permanently placed as children. This includes access to adoption records, tracing, intermediary services and counselling. 

    There are a number of other organisations that offer emotional or psychological support to those affected by adoption, but which are not in a position to assist with access to birth records, tracing or provide intermediary services. Details of these can be found on the website for the Consortium of Adoption Support Agencies (CASA).

    The adoption contact register

    Details of all adoptions in England and Wales are kept by the General Register Office (GRO). The GRO operates the National Adoption Contact Register, which allows adopted people and birth parents of adopted people to register their details and state whether or not they wish to be contacted by others. There is a cost to be added to the register. This is £15 for adopted adults or £30 for birth family members. Please note that the contact register is only able to make connections between those people who have chosen to place their details on that register and have registered their willingness to have contact. There is no tracing or intermediary service associated with it. 

    The legal framework and process for access to birth records

    Adopted adults – under UK law, all adopted adults have a legal right to access information from their birth records, in order to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate at any time after their 18th birthday. The law requires that these records are stored securely for at least 100 years. The legal framework differs somewhat, depending on if you were adopted before 12th November 1975 or after that date. If you already know your basic birth details, you can contact the General Register Office (GRO) to obtain a copy of your original birth certificate. If you don’t know those details, you will need to fill in an application form to obtain them. Details are on the GRO website. Alternatively, you can email: or phone: 0300 123 1837.

    Most of the detailed information about the circumstances surrounding adoptions will have been recorded in the case files of the agency that placed a child with their adoptive parents. These records are held by or can be accessed by an existing adoption agency. The GRO will ask the adopted adult to nominate an adoption agency to assist them in accessing their records. This will usually be the adoption agency in their locality, even if your records are held elsewhere. If the adoption order was made before 12th November 1975, there is a legal requirement for an adoption social worker to meet with the adoptee before they can access their records. If they were adopted after that date, they don’t have to speak to an adoption social worker, but it is likely to be very helpful to do so. The adoption social worker can advise and support them with understanding the information and putting it in its historical context. They can also discuss what options there are if the adoptee wishes to enquire further or seek reunion and therefore requires tracing and an intermediary service

  • Staying Connected with Foster Family

    17 October, 2022

    This National Adoption Week (2022) and throughout season two of the Podcast, the National Adoption Service for Wales is highlighting the vital relationships between adoptees, and their families and connections.

    Having a support network of people helps a child feel loved, develop a strong sense of identity, and maintain healthy relationships in the future.

    Foster families play a critical role in supporting children through major transitions including into new adoptive families. Maintaining a relationship long into the future can be an amazing opportunity for a child to stay connected with their early life experiences. Moving on from foster care into adoption is a key milestone but it doesn’t have to mean a forever goodbye.

    We spoke to two families who adopted with Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Collaborative who have stayed in touch with their children’s foster carers.


    Rachel’s Experience

    Rachel and her husband adopted their daughter in 2008 and still maintain a strong relationship with her foster family. Now foster carers themselves, they feel passionately about the importance of staying connected.

    “When we adopted my daughter, Nicola, our daughters foster carer and Nicola’s birth sons were always really warm and friendly. They did everything they could to make it go well however, we were told, back in those days, that you didn’t keep in touch with the foster family and that it was a complete and utter split, which we now know is actually the worst thing possible.

    My daughter really missed them so at the first opportunity I got in touch and asked whether we could go and see them, and they welcomed us with opened arms. If the boys know that we’re going round, they make an effort to finish work early. In the past, if they were out with friends, they’d come back. My daughter would always call them her foster brothers. And they are like brothers to her. If they see us out, they’ll always stop and chat, give her cwtches. They were really good to her, very encouraging of her and really accepting of her diagnosis of FASD; they’ve always accepted her for who she is.

    We’ve decided now that they are part of our family. They are massively important to us and are very much engrained as part of our life. A massive part of our life.”


    Siân’s Experience

    When Siân and her partner adopted their children, they were determined to maintain contact with their foster family. Siân feels strongly that their relationship is hugely important to her children’s identity and life story.

    “When they came to live here, my daughter was three and my son was just turning two. I think my daughter remembers more about being with her foster family.

    Our children were with their foster carers for 18 months and their foster carers had a daughter who was 18 when our children moved in. My daughter especially absolutely loved her. She graduated in the summer, and we had photos from her, and the children absolutely love seeing her. She’s really lovely with them, she plays with them in the park, gets them an ice cream. She genuinely loves seeing them, I think. We still meet them once a year and we send photos all the time.

    It’s really important to keep in touch, there’s a lot of loss in adoption and those relationships are one of the things that they don’t have to lose. My daughter has had a lot of questions in the past about what has happened to her, and her foster family have been really helpful in answering those. They know the story of those early days; they lived it with our children, and they can talk to them in the future about their birth families.

    It’s all about acknowledging and recognising our children’s story. Adoption is a lifelong journey and they’re in it forever so it’s about having support to help them through the challenging and difficult bits as well as the lovely bits. Relationship trauma can be repaired by having really positive relationships and that’s what we’re trying to do.”


    Cassidy’s Experience

    Cassidy’s family fosters in the Vale of Glamorgan. At twenty-seven-years-old she has become an incredibly important support to the children her parents foster.

    “I am fully on board for the journey. I know that I have been able to be there for the young people in a way that sometimes my parents can’t be. As a young person, I’m someone who can relate to their youth experiences from a similar age. I’ve learned patience and understanding and not everything happens with the click of the fingers.

    Being part of a foster family has taught me that it doesn’t matter your background or what walk of life you come from, everyone deserves that chance and that opportunity. Everyone needs someone and it’s really important for people to feel like they have a safe place and somewhere that they can be accepted to be themselves. Seeing that willingness to help and support others has definitely made me think that I could do it and that I would want to do it.”


    These stories are just a small portion of the people who responded to take part in this article. From the response we received we can see that many people, over many years, have informally or formally kept in contact with each other and have formed positive, life-long connections which have created an inclusive and expansive family for children who are adopted.

    Modern adoption practice in the UK is becoming more and more aware of the positive impact ongoing contact in-person and/or through letterbox / digital contact can have and as a service we clearly promote contact where safe and viable to do so, with both foster carers and birth family. Foster carers also hold a wealth of information about a child’s early years and this can be an amazing resource of knowledge for their adoptive family.

    We appreciate prospective parents often approach the topic of contact with trepidation, but we would encourage prospective parents to ask questions and learn more with an open mindset to help themselves comprehend the importance of these ongoing relationships for their child(ren).

    Ultimately a care-experienced child is loved by multiple people. The more this can be demonstrated through ongoing, real-life relationships, the more positive outcomes we’ll continue to see for children / young adults as they embrace their life-story and connections.


    Further resources

    There’s currently a lack of information online about the importance of staying connected with foster family specifically, however, below are some resources about the importance of ongoing contact for a child:



    • . Two Good Mums Podcast: First (birth) mother, Laura and adoptive mother, Peggy talk about how they built a relationship after Peggy adopted Laura’s children. They highlight the positive impact this had for them and their children: Podcast | Two Good Mums


    • . Four Thought: Mum… Again: Angela highlights the trauma of losing contact with her birth children and what can be done to encourage ongoing contact: Four Thought, Mum... again


    • . All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung: This book highlights the importance of adoptive parents being proactive in finding out more about their adopted child’s birth family and sharing this with the child.


    • . Split Up in Care: Life Without Siblings: Ashley John-Baptiste, BBC Reporter and Presenter grew up in foster care. Ashley believed he was an only child until one day, in his mid-20’s, a man reached out to him via social media and shared that he was his brother. In this documentary Ashley shares his own story and interweaves the voices of care-experienced children, young people, and adults alongside social workers and foster parents: Split Up in Care: Life without Siblings


    • . Our Lives: Searching for My Other Mam: In 2022, nearly fifty years after his adoption, Gerallt started the search to find his birth parents and the black heritage he’s never known. This documentary highlights the importance of belonging, finding identity, and the importance of cultural heritage: Our Lives - Series 6: Searching for My Other Mam


    • . Our Lives: Finding my Family: Filmed over three years, this documentary highlights the journey that Leah, an adopted person goes on to find her birth family: Our Lives - Series 5: Finding My Family



    We have a full time, in-house team dedicated to adoption support, letterbox and life-story work and we also have a birth parent advisor in our team who supports birth family to connect / re-connect with their children.

    To find out more about direct and indirect contact through our agency visit our website: Contact (

    If you are an adopted person, adoptive family, birth family or foster carer and you would like to connect or re-connect or would like support about life-story then please contact our adoption support / letterbox / Life-story team: / 0800 023 4064. It’s never too late to form or re-build a relationship.

    If you are a Foster Carer, you can also access support and advice from Foster Wales.

  • National Adoption Week 2022: Season Two of Truth be Told: Adoption Stories

    17 October, 2022

    One of the best ways to inspire and reassure people to adopt is by sharing real-life stories of those that have been there and done it.

    Truth be Told: Adoption Stories, a podcast from the National Adoption Service, aims to be an informative resource that features a diverse group of adopters discussing their shared experiences together.

    Season one of the podcast proved extremely popular with adopters, prospective adopters and adoptees achieving over 17,000 downloads across the UK and beyond.

    For season two, we’ve stepped up the production. All episodes in both English and Welsh will be available to listen on Spotify, Apple Music plus other streaming platforms, and watch on YouTube.

    Season two features six episodes which delve deep into the realties of adoption in 2022. Our families touch on some of the current challenges of adoption, including early trauma, and share examples of where they’ve accessed support and guidance. We also hear our adopters speak about the relationships they’ve built with their foster families and birth siblings and the benefits it has brought to the whole family and the development of the children. Plus, there’s first-hand advice on how best to navigate the education system to ensure your child has the support they need.

    The children currently waiting the longest to be adopted may be slightly older, part of a sibling group or of BAME ethnicity. Our families address some of the stigmas surrounding adoption and reaffirm that adoption is for everyone. The children waiting are at the heart of this season, and so to round-off the series, we were thrilled to team up with the Youth Council for our special takeover episode. We hear from adoptees across Wales who will discuss their journies so far and share the realities of adoption in 2022.

    All of our families are different. Stories range from same-sex adopters and single adopters to older adopters and sibling adopters. No one knew each other before volunteering to take part, but within moments it is like listening to old friends talk as they bonded over their shared passion of adoption.

    We hope you enjoy season two. If you find it insightful, please share with your friends and family to help raise awareness of what it means to start a family in 2022. 

    You can listen or watch here: Podcast / Video

  • Professional Opinion: Jessica Rutherford - Working with people living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

    12 May, 2022

    Recent research (2022) has revealed that up to four million British people may have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, where prenatal alcohol exposure affects the brain and body of a developing baby.

    We spoke to Jessica Rutherford (she/her), the FASD and Complex Case Service Lead at Nudge Education; an organisation fighting to eradicate chronic disengagement from education, to find out more about the disorder.

    As part of her role, Jessica, who has seven years’ experience working with people living with FASD and is about to complete her PhD in Educational Interventions for children with FASD, offers specialist, dedicated support to individuals with diagnosed or suspected FASD, and people with complex neurodevelopmental profiles whose needs are not being met in their current education placement. 

    Here are her thoughts:

    Q: What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD)?

    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is a brain-based disability. It’s organic brain damage that has been caused as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure.

    There are currently four hundred and twenty-eight co-existing conditions which means that having FASD makes a child more susceptible to these other conditions.

    There is no safe amount of alcohol to drink in pregnancy. I believe it’s more harmful than any other substance; I believe that heroin exposure may be less detrimental for a developing fetus than alcohol.


    Q: How common is FASD in the UK?

    The prevalence figures that we had from a screening study in 2019 suggest that between 6% to 17% of the general population could possibly have FASD upon further investigation. We don't have any accurate data around numbers currently diagnosed. 

    In 2021, a prevalence study was carried out by Salford University with results suggesting a prevalence rate of between 1.6% and 3.8%. That's a huge difference which shows further studies are needed. 

    Individuals with FASD often face challenges with education and can easily become disengaged when they are not appropriately supported, or their school placement is unsuitable for their needs.

    From my experience, we see a much higher prevalence of FASD amongst the educationally disengaged population, probably closer to 15-20% which is why we set up the dedicated FASD and Complex Case service at Nudge. 


    Q: What are the symptoms and how does it affect children?

    No two children present the same with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

    FASD affects the brain and central nervous system so a child can display emotional, behavioural, or physical symptoms.

    Around 10% of individuals with FASD have certain physical features associated with FASD, most of which are seen in the face such as a smooth philtrum (the groove between the nose and upper lip) and thin upper lip. 

    Some of the symptoms that a child with FASD can have are: sensory-processing challenges, poor executive functioning, extreme sleep problems, slow development or growth, co-ordination or memory issues and difficulties with auditory processing. Children with FASD are also much more likely to suffer addiction and mental health problems in later life than their peers.


    Q: What do you enjoy about working with families and people living with FASD – and why did you begin working with them?

    I first began working with people living with FASD as part of my PhD – but found that I had a desire to meet and gain a real understanding of those living with the condition. Once I met with families and people living with FASD, I was drawn in and fascinated by the condition, how it displays, how misunderstood it is – and how truly remarkable people living with FASD are. And their caregivers: wow, what superhumans they are. I’ve never known a parent population who fight so fiercely and tirelessly for their children.

    My interest and work in this area has continued to grow as the roles that I’ve held allow me to support caregivers in some of the daily challenges that they face, particular with regards to education.


    Q: In April 2022, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) set out how health and care services can improve the diagnosis, assessment, and prevention of FASD. What is your response to this?

    This is a milestone for the FASD community. The release outlines five key areas of improvement for local service providers and is something that professionals have been working towards for many years. 

    • . Pregnant women will now receive advice and be asked about alcohol use in pregnancy which should lead to a reduction in the number of those at risk of FASD.
    • . Children with suspected FASD will now be referred for specialist assessment.
    • . And, those living with the condition will now have a management plan to support their needs.

    I am so relieved for those living with FASD because we now have a vital documentation in place to create a pathway to diagnosis and appropriate support.

    To date, education has been an area of significant difficulty for many of those living with FASD. It is hoped that through the launch of the NICE Quality Standards, challenges in education are addressed. 


    Q: What can we do to support children with FASD?

    In around 90% of cases, FASD is a completely hidden disability with no physical signs. We often see a lot of misdiagnoses of the disorder because it presents in a similar way to ADHD and Autism. 

    However, early intervention is absolutely key. It’s important for a child to get a diagnosis of FASD so they can start to receive specialist support from professionals such as speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and physiotherapists. Access to these services at a very early age can all help to improve the outcomes for a child.

    This is because while the brain is still forming, it has the ability to repair itself and to some extent wire around the damage. This is called neuroplasticity. 

    FASD is a lifelong disability, it is a brain injury, and while there is no cure for this condition, if a child already has a diagnosis, they are in an excellent position to get access to the right support and receive the right help. 

    For those parents’ who think their child might have FASD but are yet to receive a diagnosis, I’d advise them to speak to their health professionals, read through any documentation associated to the child if they are care experienced and keep recording any behaviour that they think is a bit unusual and take it to their health care provider, speak to their school about support in education or contact adoption support.


    Q: What resources are available for individuals / children living with FASD and their families / support network?

    There are several of organisations that provide support such as:


    If you are a adopted person living with FASD or a person parenting or in the support network of an adopted child / individual living with FASD and would like to advice, signposting or direct adoption support please get in touch: 0800 023 4064 / contact@adopt4vvc.orgAdoption Support
  • New Family Social and the National Adoption Service announce new partnership

    11 March, 2022

    New Family Social is thrilled to announce today, 11 March, the last day of LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week, a new partnership with the National Adoption Service.

    This strategic relationship will mean that LGBTQ+ applicants to a Welsh local authority adoption service can apply to access New Family Social’s Gold memberships free of charge. It applies to all LGBTQ+ adopters who adopted or are supported through a Welsh local authority and to all future LGBTQ+ applicants taking this route.

    This is the first such country-wide partnership with New Family Social in any of the UK’s nations. It provides LGBTQ+ adopters and adoption applicants a consistent level of peer-support services, whichever local authority consortium they apply through. Adoption social workers for Welsh local authorities will also benefit from dedicated support and access to the latest good practice when working with LGBTQ+ people, developed by New Family Social.
  • A new campaign launched by the National Adoption Service for Wales hopes to encourage more people to adopt those children waiting the longest.

    31 January, 2022

    At any one time there are approximately 119 children waiting to be adopted in Wales, with 29 of those children waiting for nine months or more.

    For boys, sibling groups, children over three, and those with complex early histories, the wait to find a forever home can last a long time.

    On average, siblings wait 135 days more than individual children to be adopted. For many prospective parents the thought of adopting two or more children can raise concerns about affordability and physical space.

    A new campaign launched by the National Adoption Service for Wales aims to encourage more people to adopt those who have been waiting the longest.

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of the National Adoption Service for Wales, says:

    “We know from research conducted within adoption services in Wales that myths in relation to age and gender continue to exist; some prospective adopters believe that younger children present with fewer issues and others feel that girls are easier to care for. 

    This is not always the case as all children have different needs and experiences and often the quieter child can be harder to work with. Sometimes we know less about the experiences of a younger child whereas we might have more detailed knowledge where an older child is concerned. For these older children we are often in a better position to predict any future support needs should they require it.

    We successfully place children from all age groups, genders, backgrounds and circumstances, unfortunately older children, boys, sibling groups and children with additional needs can potentially wait that bit longer. We actively encourage people to consider all children when coming into the adoption process. The National Adoption Service and its regional teams support everyone affected by adoption, working with birth parents and relatives, adoptive parents, and professionals to make sure that a child’s best interests are placed at the centre of every adoption."

    In the new TV ad we follow the story of a seven-year-old child as he is matched with his new family. The emotive advert opens with a young boy greeting his adopted father wearing every item of his clothing, including a bobble hat and gloves, yellow wellies and bright blue goggles.  

    The ad (featuring actors) reveals how the child has been moved around a lot and that it may take a while to come out of his shell. We watch as the little boy struggles to eat beans on toast with gloves on and how difficult it is to score a goal in wellies. Eventually, the boy feels safe enough to take off his protective clothing, able to eat popcorn and watch a movie with his dad. The ad ends with both father and son happily wearing a pair of goggles, with the words ‘Choose adoption. Choose family.’ 

    The advert is based on real-life experiences of adoption across Wales – including Clare and Gareth who adopted a sibling group through Vale, Valley and Cardiff Adoption in 2016.

    Clare explains:

    “Our son wore his swimming goggles every single day, everywhere he went from the day he moved in until the rubber straps perished and fell apart.”

    Regarding the advert Suzanne Griffiths says:

    “We hope the new TV advert will assist people thinking about adoption to understand that children who have experienced a difficult or challenging start in life have often developed their own ways of coping and therefore need time, patience and support to help them to settle into their new families. Some settle easier than others but what's important is that they are enabled to do so at their own pace. The National Adoption Service offers support to all new and established families to assist with those early adjustments, and throughout their lifelong journey as a family."

    To support the campaign, the National Adoption Service are asking people to share images of themselves wearing goggles on social media with the hashtag #ChooseFamily:   

  • National Adoption Service Launches #ChooseFamily Campaign during National Adoption Week 2021

    18 October, 2021

    #ChooseFamily is a new campaign from the National Adoption Service for Wales (NAS) to open people’s minds and hearts to the children currently waiting to be adopted: choosefamily

  • Truth be Told Podcast Wins Gold Award 

    06 October, 2021

    Our podcast won Gold for 'Best Use of Content' at this year’s CIPR PRide Cymru Awards which celebrate and recognise great communications.

    Here’s what the judges had to say: 

    “This campaign brought a really fresh approach to a complex and sensitive issue, with a focus on storytelling and real-life experiences. A meticulous approach to research and the involvement of diverse family groups from the outset created a compelling and ground-breaking podcast that inspired new and fruitful engagement for the National Adoption Service.” 

    Podcast Presenter and National Adoption Service Policy and Practice Officer Corienne Strange said: 

    “Like many organisations we had no idea what the pandemic would mean for our service. The podcast was critical in helping us to share our message but it also brought people together at a time when connection was so incredibly important. What we ended up with was a professional and ‘current’ product that is not only an enjoyable listen, but we have no doubt will stand the test of time for the National Adoption Service as we continue our mission to encourage more people to adopt. We couldn’t be happier with the gold recognition for everyone involved.” 

    Huge thanks to our adopters, our communication team at Cowshed and the podcast producers at Bengo Media for all their time, openness and hard work. 

    Podcast: Truth be Told
  • National Adoption Service Annual Report 2020/21

    28 September, 2021

    The National Adoption Service have published their Annual Report for 2020/2021. One of the key findings of the report is that during 2020/21 initial enquiries were up by 23%!

    The report covers information surrounding:

    • Initial enquiries
    • Approved adopters
    • Children placed
    • Adoption support

    The full report: National Adoption Service Annual Report 2020/21

  • Foster Wales campaign launches to increase Foster Carers across Wales

    20 September, 2021

    A campaign by ‘Foster Wales’,the new network of 22 Local Authority fostering services across the country, aims to make a substantial national impact on the futures of young people.  

    With over a third (39%) of Welsh adults saying they have considered becoming a foster carer, a new campaign launches across Wales today, aimed at significantly increasing the number and diversity of Local Authority foster carers.

    Throughout the country, every child in need of a foster carer is in the care of their Local Authority. The new advertising push, representing Cardiff and the other 21 not-for-profit Local Authority fostering teams that make up ‘Foster Wales’, aims to increase the number of foster parents needed to help keep children in their local area, when that is right for them.  

    Helping children to stay in their local community can be of great benefit and mean the world to a child. Not only does it keep them connected to their friends, their school, and their sense of identity, but it also builds confidence and reduces stress.  

    There's still a need to recruit an estimated 550 new foster carers and families across Wales every year. This is to keep up with the numbers of children who need care and support, while replacing carers who retire or provide a permanent home to children.    

    While no two children are the same, neither is the foster care they need. There is no ‘typical’ foster family. Whether somebody owns their own home or rents, whether they’re married or single. Whatever their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or faith, there are young people who need someone on their side.   

    The new campaign by Foster Wales will span TV, radio, Spotify and digital platforms.

    To find out more about Local Authority fostering:
  • AUK Barometer 2021

    04 August, 2021

    The AUK Barometer report paints a very positive picture for Wales. It’s great to see such strong engagement from Welsh adopters and positivity around the adoption conversation - with 80% of responders from Wales were likely to encourage others to adopt and 83% feeling optimistic about the future. The findings are a vote of confidence – reiterating the importance of the work we are doing and the necessity to keep it up.

    It is important that we take this opportunity to recognise and celebrate the improvement that has already taken place, however, we are not complacent about the need for continued improvement to adoption and support services over the next year for children, young people, and their adoptive parents. NAS will continue to work on understanding adoptive parents, children and young people’s priorities for support – particularly during the transition into adulthood. We will also continue to provide:

      • Support, training, and guidance for adoptive parents
      • Social, emotional, and mental health support
      • Adoption ‘aware’ training for education professionals
      • Sensitive and timely life journey support

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of National Adoption Service

  • National Adoption Service report on Adoption Support in Wales

    07 May, 2021

    We are pleased to publish this report on research completed for NAS by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brooks University. The findings are drawn from activity undertaken in October and November 2020.  Overall, the study heard from over 430 individuals concerned with adoption support in Wales, including 313 adoptive parents.

    The report provides a reassuring picture of improvements in the availability of adoption support in Wales, increased positivity amongst adoptive families in asking for and receiving support as well as describing additional and innovative new services. The study also provides significant insight into the current needs of adoptive families alongside noting the further work needed to create consistent and sustainable services.

    The report will continue to act as a blueprint for maintaining the improved arrangements and future development. The findings align with a growing body of research that indicates how the needs of adopted children are more akin to children who are ‘looked after’ than other children in relation to their higher emotional, health and wellbeing needs. The full report can be read here.

    The main results include:

      • The children had much greater difficulties, as measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and including specific diagnoses, than a comparative sample of other children
      • Children’s need for support after adoption often happens at times of transition such as moving from primary to secondary schools, and for some this can also be at times of disruption to everyday life such as an unplanned change of routine
      • A high proportion of parents reported confidence in feeling it was ‘Ok to ask for help’ and knowing how to do so; this was higher for new adoptive families
      • More than half of parents, and more than 70% of professionals, felt that more needed to be done to make education settings supportive to adopted children needs and ‘adoption aware’ while noting that this was an improving picture.
      • A significant number of adopters believe their children are thriving at home and reported high levels of confidence in parenting their children, particularly those in the younger age groups and despite impact on their own wellbeing, but they also indicated that they had made changes in order to ‘make things work for them and their family’. 
      • Almost 50% of adopters who participated commented that the Covid 19 pandemic had impacted on their need for support.Many indicated that whilst not having some of the outside pressures had eased some things, the loss of interactions with other children/adults and returns to work / school had created additional stresses and challenges


  • World Social Work Day 2021

    16 March, 2021

    Earlier this month we asked our team to share their experiences of social work; what inspired them to be a social worker, what’s challenged them and what they would say to others considering becoming social workers.

    Here are their stories:


    “I thought about taking up a career in social work during my mid 20’s. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to work alongside a Children with Disabilities Team as I coordinated integrated playschemes for 5-18-year olds. This inspired me to become a social worker as I could see how social workers made a difference to the most vulnerable children in society. I always wanted to work in a fostering team or adoption team since qualifying as helping children to find permanence is such a rewarding job to do. I feel privileged to have worked in the Adoption Service for many years and although we are faced with many challenges, seeing a child settle with an adoptive family because you have helped to make it possible is something pretty special. I would advise anyone who is thinking of becoming a social worker to try and get as much social care/life experience as they possibly can before they choose this as a career as it keeps you grounded. Being a social worker has helped me to think about the bigger picture; it has helped me to put myself in other people’s shoes and generally made me a more thoughtful person, who appreciates the smaller things in life a whole lot more.”

    – Sharron, Recruitment and Assessment Team



    “I have had a variety of jobs over the past 41 years, including working in medical research and teaching science, but for the last 26 years, I have been working in social care. In doing so I have been privileged to be alongside many families, as they experience immense joys and profound sorrows. It continues to be the most demanding and rewarding job I have ever done. I know there are no absolute right and wrong answers in social work; I can only try to do my best, never become complacent and never stop learning.”

    – Chris, Adoption Support Team



    For me, I have always wanted to do social work, not really sure why but think it was the overall desire to help others, to be empowered and help people have the right skills and knowledge to help them in their decision making abilities. I have worked in several social work fields which have all given me greater skills and I have learnt a great deal from these areas. I would say to someone wanting to become a social worker, make sure that you always take time out for yourself, as social work can be all consuming. Self-care is really important and can quite easily lose sight of yourself if you don’t follow through with this. Be organised, be prepared for the surprises that crop up, or unexpected.  Make sure you start your day with a plan of what you are going to do, you will never complete your list of ‘To do’s’ in one day! Social work is always changing, new ways of managing and doing things always come in. Be flexible for change. 

    -        Sheree, Family Finding Team



    What / Who inspired you to study social work?

    I was probably set on the track to becoming a social worker because my Mum has always worked in welfare and social justice support roles (and used to take me into work a lot when I was little) – she still does and my Step-Dad was a Police Officer for 30 years. They both always took their work really seriously and I think they instilled in me how tough some people have life, which I think would have guided me towards some kind of career working with people, wherever I ended up. I was a youth worker before I returned to university to become a social worker. I absolutely loved my job working with young people but I felt like there was a lot more I could and should be doing. I often found myself feeling like I could help more if I only understood the young people’s circumstances better, especially the ones who came to us from the youth offending services or leaving care. Ironically, I now know that I could have been more useful had their social workers been better at linking in with our service – read any serious case review and you will be sure to find issues with joint working highlighted. After I qualified as a social worker I always made a huge effort to link in with all sorts of different agencies, not just the most obvious ones, including the youth service in the areas I covered when I was a child protection social worker. I used to just pop in on youth nights to have quiet chats with the youth workers and built up my links with them this way. Their involvement was always invaluable to my work with some of my older young people but also their younger siblings sometimes. It is amazing what local knowledge and drama comes out during youth club nights.  

    Why did you decide to take a job in the adoption team?

    I never thought I would end up working in adoption. Quite the opposite. I always wanted to work in the youth offending or leaving care services with older young people, despite always absolutely adoring little ones. One little girl and her teenage Mum on my child protection case load changed my entire career path. I always felt a bit like a small part of my soul was taken each time I had to remove a child from their parents for their own safety; it was not a part of the job I will ever feel proud of – the fact that I made children safer was a great feeling but the heartache that came alongside that for all involved could be quite upsetting. I remember placing this little girl with her adopters and feeling an enormous sense of responsibility. Her Mum had begged me to not place her with adopters but to instead take her home with me repeatedly, as had her Grandmother. Despite the terrible thing I had done to them, which they will never ever get over, they trusted me, which felt overwhelming. Little girls Mum was so young herself and her own childhood incredibly traumatic; she had needed adopters herself and I could not get away from the feeling that she needed exactly what was happening for her daughter. I spent endless unpaid hours making this little girls life story book and writing her later life letter (I made them for her Mum too) and found saying goodbye to her quite hard after everything I had experienced alongside this little one; late night motorway journeys to women’s refuges with her and Mum, hospital collections after bumps to her head, changing nappies in my car boot because Mum couldn’t/wouldn’t do it, entertaining her in hours of contact when her Dad was unable to do anything but say her name to her. I couldn’t help it, we had a little bond and I realised I wanted to understand far more about how life was likely to pan out for this little girl and other little ones like her, so when a job in adoption came up, I applied. I had also secured interviews with a local youth offending team. I was offered jobs with them both; much to my own surprise, I chose adoption and I am so glad I did. I firmly believe that every social worker who works in child protection should spend at least 6-12 months working in an adoption team; I have learnt so much and I know that if I were to return to child protection, I would practice quite differently.

    -        Emily, Recruitment and Assessment Team

  • LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week - 1st-8th March 2021

    01 March, 2021

    Happy LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week!

    All this week we, alongside New Family Social are raising public awareness and encouraging people who identify as LGBT+ to explore adoption.

    At VVC we celebrate family in all its forms. This means we take enquiries from people regardless of their sexuality, gender expression, gender identity, anyone 21+ years old, people with or without a faith, people who are single, cohabiting, engaged or married, of any heritage, ethnicity or culture. 

    LGBT+ adoption week is not a one-off event. We work with our partners at New Family Social year-round. As a member agency, our adopters not only receive support from our team, but they also have access to all the resources and expertise New Family Social have to offer. 

    This year’s LGBT+ adoption week theme is #buildyourfamily. So, if you identify as LGBT+, single or in a relationship and are researching routes to building a family, we would love to speak to you: 0800 023 4064 / / Contact-Us

    If you are exploring routes to parenthood we recommend taking a look at our curated list of resources: Read, Watch, Listen. This list is not exhaustive but it includes books such as the children’s book, ‘and Tango makes three’, Stonewall’s Guide for Gay Dad’s, podcasts, shows and links to Instagram adopters such as @unlikelydad, @LeonWenham, @that_a.c_life and @The_Adventure_Squad.

  • Zero Racism Wales Pledge 

    17 February, 2021

    We have joined with other organisations and individuals across Wales to pledge with Zero Racism Wales. Our Zero Racism Wales pledge: Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Collaborative

    By pledging we commit to being anti-racist and non-discriminatory in all we do. We have created the following statement to support our pledge and explain the practicalities of our commitment as a service further detail.

    Our detailed statement:

    Heritage, identity, race, culture, faith, religion and cultural observances are component parts of a person’s life and identity. As such, we encourage our families, children, parents and staff to share all aspects of their lives and identity with us. 

    As an agency we cover the highest population of any of the local authority adoption collaboratives in Wales. We are proud of our diverse community and we regularly review all aspects of our service as we continually commit being totally inclusive. 

    Our children are all unique and representant a broad and diverse cross section of society. Therefore, it’s always our priority to make sure that we can provide a spectrum of diverse households that can be considered to meet the individual needs of our children and that will offer a loving, safe and supportive family lifestyle. 

    We actively celebrate diversity and family in all its forms. We don’t discriminate based on ethnicity, age, disability, faith, religion, heritage, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression or relationship status. We commit to adhere to the Equality Act 2010 by providing fair and equitable services to all people.  

    We regularly review all our resources regarding inclusive language and imagery. Our information packs are available in Welsh, English, Arabic, Spanish and Italian.

    Our hope is that by providing information in a person’s first language or language of preference that they will feel valued, included and that they will be able to gain a further understanding of adoption in a language(s) that they feel most comfortable in.  

    Our team take responsibility to continually engage, listen and challenge themselves in learning more about racism, discrimination (of any kind), cultural observances, traditions and faiths. 

      • We pledge to stand up to racism and all other forms of discrimination 
      • We pledge to use our voices, our position and our platforms to challenge inequality, encourage radical inclusivity and celebrate uniqueness, similarities and family in all its forms. 
      • We pledge to continue to actively listen and learn more about cultures and identities and challenge ourselves to make sure we are anti-racist and non-discriminatory in all we do.


  • National Adoption Week 2020

    14 October, 2020

    One of the best ways to inspire people to adopt is by sharing success stories of those that have been there and done it.Truth be told: Adoption stories, a podcast from the National Adoption Service aims to be an informative resource that features a group of adopters discussing their shared experiences together.

    Truth be told: Adoption stories is available in both Welsh and English and features ten adopters from across Wales discussing a different adoption topic each week - from the first steps to post adoption support. Stories range from same sex adopters and single adopters to older adopters and sibling adopters.

    No one knew each other before the meeting but within moments it is like listening to old friends talk. They laugh together, they cry together.

    Truth be told: Adoption stories is invaluable whether you’vealready adopted, are looking to start the process or just interested in different ways of starting a family.

    Listen to the podcast here:

    Register for a lunchtime webinar to hear more honest stories and tips from adopters and adoption workers across Wales:

  • Wales comes out top in UK wide adoption survey, but more support still needed for vulnerable children, report finds

    29 September, 2020

    Alongside identifying an improving picture in many respects there is still evidence that the lives of some of the UK's most vulnerable children are being affected by missed opportunities to provide them with timely and adequate support, a new report reveals today.  

    The Adoption Barometer, published by charity Adoption UK, describes the dramatic impact the right support can have. Now in its second year, the Barometer is based on the biggest ever survey of adopters. This year, 5,000 people responded to the survey, 361 of which were in Wales.   

    The Adoption Barometer also assesses the government policies that regulate adoption. Welsh policies scored best, with three areas of policy scoring ‘good’ - Approvals and Matching, Newly Placed Adopters and Established Families. Policy relating to finding families for children scored best across the board.

    However, all nations scored poorly in at least one area of policy. Policy relating to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) scored worst, with all nations assessed as ‘poor’, and adopter experiences of children with or suspected FASD was also ‘poor’ in all nations. 

    There has been progress in Wales since last year’s Barometer, building on the improvement seen since Wales implemented its National Adoption Service (NAS). In June 2019, there was a £2.3m investment in adoption services by the Welsh Government. In partnership with third sector organisations some of this funding is being used to provide new services including the Therapeutic Education and Support Services in Adoption (TESSA) and a new young people’s service. Respondents in Wales were considerably more positive about their experiences of accessing support during 2019 than they were the previous year.

    One of the main themes to emerge across the UK is the failure in diagnosing and treating brain damage caused by children being exposed to alcohol in the womb. The report reveals more than one-in-four adopted children in Wales (28%) are either diagnosed with or suspected to have FASD. 53% of families polled in Wales had waited two years or longer for a diagnosis, and 68% felt healthcare professionals lacked even basic knowledge about the condition, even though FASD is more common in the general population than Autism.  

    Adoptive mother Joanne, from South Wales, said:

    “We were told our son may have FASD when he came to us at four, but were told we’d never get a diagnosis as he did not have the associated facial features. He soon became violent and aggressive. He’d erupt for two hours every night when we put him to bed. He’d throw things, hit, kick, scratch. I've had three black eyes and I’ve got a scar on my chin from being hit with a candle. We saw GPs, Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), a neuro developmental team and a child psychiatrist before a doctor finally diagnosed our son with FASD. We were discharged the same day without the offer of any support.” 

    Around three-quarters of adopted children experienced violence, abuse or neglect while living with their birth families, often with life-long impacts on their relationships, their health and their ability to learn. Despite the considerable challenges, the report shows that adopters in Wales remain positive and resilient – 75% would encourage others to consider adoption.

    But failures in policy and practice and missed opportunities to intervene mean that problems often build into a crisis. Almost than half (48%) of families with older children report severe challenges, such as being drawn into criminally exploitative behaviour, including child sexual exploitation and county lines activities. The vast majority (66%) of respondents from Wales with school aged children anticipate they will leave school with few or no qualifications because they lacked the right support.  

    Author of the report Becky Brooks said:

    “It is morally and economically imperative that adoptive families are given the right support from day one. Yet 68% of new adoptive families who responded to the survey had no support plan in place. The cost to the child, the wider family and society when an adoptive family falls apart, is unacceptable.” 

    Suzanne Griffiths, National Adoption Service for Wales Director, said:

    “The Barometer is a welcome sense check from adoptive families as to where we are as a service. The findings encouragingly identify that improvements have been made. They also reflect where we know there is more work to be done, specifically access to adoption support and services for adopted children and young people. We have made significant investment into these areas over the past year with the support of £2.3m adoption support fund from Welsh Government and we look forward to future reports to see the impact this makes. Overall, there are some very positive messages in the report to celebrate and we are pleased to see that adoption in Wales is in a good place in terms of its improvement journey. This is exactly what NAS was set up to achieve.”

    The Adoption Barometer calls on the governments in all four nations of the UK to provide detailed therapeutic assessments for every child before they arrive in their new family, with up to date support plans to be maintained into early adulthood.  

    Key findings from respondents in Wales: 

    • 75% of respondent would encourage others to adopt and a similar proportion said they felt optimistic about their family’s future
    • 75% said they were confident about where to go for post adoption support and advice
    • 70% said they were regularly informed about training, events and other support services
    • There are increased levels of satisfaction with the support provided
    • - 75% saying support had a significant positive impact on their children (62% previously)
    • - 77% saying support had a significant positive impact on their family (62% previously)
    • - 84% saying it would be worthwhile asking for support in future (77% previously)
    • 88% of respondents felt their social workers were supportive during the early weeks and months after placement
    • 92% of prospective adopters said that the training days they had attended were informative and useful
    • 53% of prospective adopters found the process so difficult that they wondered if they could continue (78% in Northern Ireland)


    • 56% of new adopters experienced stress, anxiety or the symptoms of post-adoption depression during the early weeks
    • 68% of established adopters faced challenges
    • 5.3% of adoptive families experienced a child leaving home prematurely during 2019
    • 16-25 year-olds were twice (19%) as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) as their peers
    • 55% of families were aware of the dedicated funding for care experienced children in school in Wales (PDG LAC) but only 6% said they knew how it is being used
    • 77% of adopters say that their child needs more or much more support in school than their peers
    • Only 39% say that they feel the teachers have a good understanding of the needs of care experienced children


    • 97% of adopters were aware of the existence of FASD and 83% were given training or part of the adoption preparation process
    • 70% said they were given enough information to make informed decisions about whether, with enough support, they could parent a child with FASD
    • 89% of those children who have a diagnosis of FASD said it took more than a year from raising concerns to getting a diagnosis
    • - Only 16% of those who did get a diagnosis said it was a straightforward process
    • - And only 16% said they felt that primary health care professionals were knowledgeable about FASD.A further
    • -28% of those parents whose children do not have an FASD diagnosis suspect that their children do have FASD
    • *There are at least 55,000 adoptive families in the UK. 


  • Nursery worker, camera man, single mum and HR advisor front new campaign to show adopters come in many forms

    14 October, 2019

    Campaign launched by National Adoption Service to celebrate its first five years in operation:

    • First TV advert for adoption campaign in Wales
    • 1,630 children given a stable home 
    • More than £2.3 million in additional funding for adoption 
    • Adoption register to speed up family finding


    This National Adoption Week (October 14-20), National Adoption Service (NAS) celebrates its first five years with the launch of a new campaign, 'The Parent You Could Be'. Featuring real adopters, the campaign sets out to encourage people from all walks of life to become a parent through adoption.


    Since 2014, NAS has supported more than 1,630 children in Wales to find the right family for hem. 'The Parent You Could Be' is a national campaign led by adopters of different ages, backgrounds, abilities and sexual orientations to help the service continue to successfully match families. Real people who have been through adoption are sharing their experiences - what they thought before they started and what they’ve learnt about themselves through the process - to dispel some of the myths that are putting people off adopting.

    Chris, who adopted his daughter through Mid and West Wales Adoption Service with his wife in 2015, is one of the adopters supporting the campaign. The couple had been trying for a child but weren’t successful and took a number of years to come the decision to adopt.

    Chris said:

    “When we first started thinking about adoption, we had this idea that in order to give a child what it needed to adapt to a new family, you’d have to have special qualities and couldn’t be in full time work. After doing research, speaking to others and then, going on courses, we realised that we did in fact have those special qualities."

    “I did wonder what bond I would have with our daughter and how it would compare with if we’d given birth to her. But as soon as we saw her picture and had a little more about information about her, we knew she would fit in to our family and it didn’t take long for a bond to form."

    “We adopted our daughter when she was a little older, so she has some memory of her childhood. We’ve had good days and bad days, but there has always been the support there for us to help her cope with her emotions."

    “A child doesn’t want material things; they want to be loved and nurtured. Adoption has been so rewarding for me and I would like to encourage others to just find out more before saying ‘it’s not for me’.”

    Five years of the National Adoption Service in Wales

    Since 2014, NAS has: 

    • Accessed more than £2.3 million in additional funding to invest in services and adoption support.
    • Reduced the waiting time for approving adopters and family finding for children and improved reporting and evaluation.
    • Increased the availability of life journey materials to help children better understand their family history.
    • Created five regional adoption collaboratives and developed a strong partnership with Voluntary Adoption Agencies. Adding different expertise, additional services and more choice to the service, resulting in exciting new initiatives such as Adopting Together, TESSA and a new Children and Young People’s service. 
    • Brought the Adoption Register for Wales into the service, providing greater breadth and depth of choice for prospective parents and children. 

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of Operations for the National Adoption Service, said:

    “We’ve achieved so much in five years and are grateful to all of the regional and voluntary adoption services as well as partner agencies which have already made a huge difference to people that are affected by adoption in Wales. Most importantly, however, we are grateful to the hundreds of adoptive parents who have come forward from all walks of life."

    “Our goal is to draw on the expertise and knowledge we have built over the past five years to reach even more potential adopters in Wales and ensure that we can continue to find families for children to will help them thrive."

    “There are some misconceptions about who can adopt but there really isn’t a one size fits all approach. It’s all dependent on the individual. The main things they can offer a child are time, patience, and security, as well as love.“We hope that by showcasing our adopters who come from all walks of life, we can help others to realise the potential in themselves to be a great parent and make that call to their local adoption agency to find out more.”

  • The first, original, Welsh language book to help explain adoption to children

    14 October, 2019

    Author Eurgain Haf has written a book for children under 7 that introduces the idea of adoption – the first original Welsh-language book to do so.

    Y Boced Wag (The Empty Pouch) is a sweet story about Cadi the kangaroo as she goes in search of happiness, and to fill her empty pouch.

     The book is published to coincide with National Adoption Week, an annual event to raise awareness of the need for homes for children and young people. This year it is held between 14-20 October.

    The subject is very close to Eurgain’s heart as she has herself adopted a child. The aim of the book is to help parents explain the process of adoption to their children, should they wish to:

    “I hope the book will help parents who have adopted, to help them with the important but difficult and emotional discussion with their children in their first language. The book will also help parents whose children know families that have been adopted, and is also a charming story in its own right.”

    “We adopted our son when he was a baby and he is now full of imagination and loves to make up stories. When he was in nursery school he came home one day with a picture of a kangaroo who looked sad. I asked him why he thought the kangaroo looked downcast. His simple reply was, because her pouch was empty. I told him that we would find a way to put a smile on the kangaroo’s face, and together we came up with the story Y Boced Wag.”

    Cadi sets off on a big adventure in search of happiness and meets lots of other animals along the way who want to help. She falls asleep under a tree, only to awaken the following morning to discover that a baby kangaroo has climbed into her pouch for shelter and warmth, and her wish has been granted.

    “I used the story to explain to him that he had been adopted, the gap that he had filled in our family and the happiness that he brought us. The story gives him comfort and the idea is a simple one that children can own and identify with. As he says, “It’s my story”.”

  • £2.3million boost for adoption support in Wales

    06 June, 2019

    Today (June 6), National Adoption Service in Wales (NAS) and Adoption UK Cymru (AUK) announced a £2.3 million Welsh Government investment for adoption support services in Wales.

    At an event held at the Senedd attended by key people from the sector, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan confirmed the funding and also officially launched the new ‘Adoption Register Wales’.

    The £2.3m investment is to be spent through NAS’ five regions across Wales to strengthen adoption support services, enhance staff levels and improve ways of working in key areas of support for adoptive families.

    The new register is an essential part of the matching process in many adoptions and will support prompt family finding. No longer just for children who’ve been waiting the longest, but for all children with an adoption plan in Wales, the register gives adopters more say in their family finding.

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of Operations for the National Adoption Service, said:

    “The new register supports our commitment to the best possible family finding and matching for children and adopters. It is a bilingual service making it more inclusive and also gives adopters supported access to view children’s profiles and make decisions, with the support of their Social Worker.”

     Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan said:

    “As a Government we are investing money to strengthen adoption services in Wales. Working collaboratively with key organisations to use this funding to provide those being adopted and adopters with the right support. As well as ensuring that adoptive families can be found more quickly, this funding will enable the adoption regions to improve further the provision of adoption support services in their area.”

    Suzanne Griffiths added:

    “This investment is such a boost to our work to improve the support available to adoptive families across Wales. Improving services, and particularly support services, was one of the biggest challenges facing the National Adoption Service when it was created. We have already made many improvements through our local government regional services, but this funding will enable us to ensure there are improved services available consistently to families across Wales as well as providing, in partnership with the third sector, exciting new services such as TESSA and a new children and young people’s service”. 

     Part of the investment has also been used to match fund an additional £250,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund, granted to AUK to deliver its Therapeutic Education Support Services in Adoption programme (TESSA).

    Ann Bell, Development Manager, AUK Cymru, said:

    “Adoption UK is delighted to be working with the National Lottery to extend the TESSA programme across United Kingdom. TESSA gives an adoptive family access to a clinical psychologist and an experienced adopter, giving them coping strategies and an insight into how other parents have worked through challenges to help their family flourish. Early intervention is crucial to successful adoptions and TESSA has proved extremely effective in Northern Ireland, with adoptive families saying what a huge difference it has made to them. The additional funding from Welsh Government will significantly increase the scale and reach of TESSA in Wales, making it more widely available to new adoptive families.”

  • LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2019

    04 March, 2019

    We are proud to support LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2019! This year from the 4th – 10th March 2019 adoption and fostering agencies up and down the UK, alongside New Family Social are raising awareness to encourage more people who identify as LGBT+ to explore adoption and fostering.

    We are proud to be an inclusive adoption agency and we have a diverse network of staff and adopters already working with us.

    In 2018 1 in 7 adopters in Wales last year identified at LGBT+ which is above the national average.

    These are positive statistics and ones we are proud of; however the reality across the UK is there is still a large shortfall in the number of adopters for the children that are waiting. In 2018, in Wales alone, it was recorded that there were 6,405 looked after children. That number is set to rise over the coming year whilst the number of adopters is currently predicted to continue to decrease.

    As an adoption agency we have the responsibility to change these statistics and make sure that the most vulnerable children in our society are cared for so that they can grow, achieve and thrive and therefore we need you!

    We celebrate family in all its forms and our social workers are experienced in assessing people who identify as LGBT. That means that they are prepared to answer any specific questions and concerns that you may have and smoothly take you through the process.

    We look to receive applications from people regardless of age, gender, sexuality, relationship status, race or religion. Our families are a melting pot of different backgrounds and identities and all of them have their own unique qualities and dynamics. The one defining factor for all of our families is that they are inclusive and embraced adoption as a route to creating their family.

    What we are looking for are people who can offer a loving, inclusive, accepting and stable families for children who need it.

    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 NFS. In the read, watch, listen section of our website we have a list of resources for LGBT adopters. This includes books such as ‘and Tango makes three’; a book that explains same sex adoption to children, Stonewall’s Guide for Gay Dad’s and links to social media influencers who are adopters such as @Unlikelydad and @StevieBlaine. There is also information available through New Family Social and Stonewall.

    LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2019 is a great opportunity for us to continue to encourage people who are interested in starting or extending their family through adoption to contact us. We regularly host information evenings and always welcome enquiries via phone: 0800 023 4064 and email: We would love to hear from you!

  • National Adoption Week 2018

    This year, to highlight National Adoption Week 2018, we are releasing the first two parts in our new four part series ‘Becoming Parents’. Becoming Parents looks at the process of adoption through the eyes of some of our adopters. The series begins with ‘Getting Started’ where our adopters talk about the first steps they took to finding out more about adoption. View our  ‘Becoming Parents’ series here. 

    The second part of the series ‘Personal Assessment’ is where our adopters talk more in-depth about their experiences of the assessment process. We will be releasing ‘Matching and Getting to Know Each Other’ on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 and ‘Becoming a Family’ on Tuesday 30th October 2018 so keep a look out for these.

    Families come in all shapes and sizes with different outlooks, beliefs and quirks. We love that diversity. All the children that we look to match with adoptive parents come with their own personalities, backgrounds and requirements for the future. This means we need a wide-range of adopters. We accept applications from single people, people in a partnerships and married people, people who have children already and people who don’t yet have children. From our point of view ethnicity, sexuality and faith background have no relevance on your suitability to adopt. What matters to us is that you can provide a safe, secure, encouraging and loving home for a child who needs it. 

    Becoming Parents highlights some stories from just a few of our adopters. Our hope is that the series will help you to understand the journey of adoption more and maybe inspire you to find out more about adopting with Vale, Valleys and Cardiff. To contact us please fill out our enquiry form or call us on: 0800 023 4064. To find out more about adopting with VVC visit:

    We would like to thank Philipa, Ross, Michael, Gareth and Claire for taking part in this series. Thank you for sharing your stories, raising awareness and ultimately inspiring others to think about adopting.