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“The more prepared the parents were about the issues they might face after adoption, the better able they were to process the post-adoption experience.” – Foli, K. and Thompson, JR. (2004), The Post Adoption Blues, Rodale, USA.

We encourage you throughout the process and post adoption to explore as many resources as you can about the challenges and impacts of adoption. This section of our website is curated to provide a diverse range of books, podcasts, shows and resources that we hope will inspire, encourage and challenge you. Many of our adoptive parents and social workers have found the following resources useful and we are always looking for new recommendations. We update this page regularly and if you notice that we’ve missed a great book you’ve read or intriguing podcast you’ve listened to about adoption then please let us know: contact@adopt4vvc.org 

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

Adoption UK provide a mixed media library containing more than three hundred books covering a range of adoption and fostering issues. All books are lent free of charge (excluding postal charges). The library can lend up to three books/items at one time. To access the library, you will need to sign up for membership and pay the associated fee. Once you are logged in to the website you will be able to browse the items in the library and make a reservation. An orange button titled ‘borrow this item’ will appear next to the item once you have clicked into it. This will then take you to the reservation form: Adoption UK Lending Library

 

Guides and Books for Adults 

  • No Matter What – Sally Donovan
    No Matter What’ is a first-hand account of the adoption process written by an adoptive mother, Sally Donovan. Sally tells the story of her and her husband Rob and their journey from a diagnosis of infertility to their decision to adopt, to post adoption. She talks honestly about the couple’s difficulties living with infertility, making the decision to adopt and the process of adoption. An easy going, heartfelt read that gives an insight into the process of adoption and attachment issues. 
  • The Body Keeps the Score – Bessel Van Der Kolk
    Bessel Van Der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on traumatic stress, draws on his 30 years’ experience in his book, The Body Keeps the Score. The book is accessible and a fascinating insight into how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain.
  • Born for Love - Maia Szalavitz and Bruce D. Perry, M.D., PH.D.

    Renowned Child Psychiatrist, Bruce D. Perry and award-winning, Science Journalist, Maia Szalavitz interweave research and stories from Perry's practice with cutting-edge scientific studies and historical examples in their book, Born to Love.

    Throughout this accessibly written book, Perry and Szalavitz explain how empathy develops, why it is essential for our development into healthy adults, and how it's often threatened in the modern world. Perry and Szalavitz outline how compassion underlies the qualities that make society work, how difficulties related to empathy are key factors in societal problems and how lack of empathy can impact physical health.

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

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

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

  • Meant to be - Lisa Faulkner

    Lisa Faulkner, English Actress, Presenter and Winner of 2010 Celebrity Masterchef, has written a book about adoption, Meant to be. Lisa’s story weaves a relatable and honest account of her journey from trying to conceive, to fertility treatment, to considering surrogacy, to starting and completing the adoption process. Throughout the book Lisa speaks candidly about her relationships with her (now ex) husband, friends and family members and the personal journey she took towards considering adopting. Lisa’s daughter is now a teenager and Lisa is able to reflect about her experiences as well as looking towards the future.

    Lisa also spoke about her journey on This Morning: Lisa Faulkner This Morning 

  • My name is Why – Lemn Sissay

    Lemn Sissay MBE, Author, Poet and Broadcaster has written a memoir reflecting his experiences of the care system in the UK in the 1960’s – 1980’s. He shares his experiences as a child and young person and how these experiences have shaped his outlook and adult life.

    It should be noted that significant reform has happened across social services and society since Lemn’s childhood experiences however this book gives intimate insight into the care system at that time and the intrinsic need of all people to understand their identity, to feel part of a family and receive unlimited love, care and stability

  • How I Met My Son – Rosalind Powell 

    How I Met My Son is an easily accessible and honest, personal account of adoption written by Journalist, Rosalind Powell. Throughout the book Rosalind weaves together the story of why and how she and her partner, Harry adopted their son, Gabriel and their ongoing journey; whilst, at the same time, threading in stories of people who she has interviewed who have also adopted or are adopted themselves. 

    In the book she highlights their experiences as a couple with fertility treatment, the adoption process, matching and settling in and their ongoing life as a family. She talks about the positive outcomes that they have seen alongside the challenges and covers, in detail, their experience of introduction to Gabriel including their ongoing relationship with his foster carers. At the end of the book she also includes Gabriel’s comments about his own adoption bringing the narrative together with a very personal touch.  

  • The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting – Sarah Naish
    The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting is an accessible and practical yet comprehensive guide to behaviour and the fundamentals of therapeutic parenting. Sarah, herself an adoptive parent explores solution focused approaches to a variety of challenges that people caring for children who have had adverse life experiences (ACE's) may face and the underlying reasons that children may be responding in the ways that they are. The guide is relevant to adopters, foster carers, kinship carers and professionals alike.
  • What to Expect When You’re Adopting – Dr Ian Palmer 
    What to Expect When You're Adopting is a non-fiction guide that explains the realities of adopting and what to expect at each stage. The book covers a range of topics and is good for reference at different points in the adoption process. 
  • A Guide for Gay Dads – Stonewall 

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

    You can read the guide for free: A Guide for Gay Dads

  • Raising Turnip - Florence Sheridan

    In this memoir, Florence Sheridan, a single parent through adoption reflects on her experiences of her life before children, the adoption process and being a parent to her son, Freddie who she adopted when he was six years old. Florence provides insight into adopting as a single person and adopting an older, male child whilst reflecting, with humour, on some of her and Freddie’s experiences of being a family. The book covers: transitions, introductions, relationships with family and friends, choosing a school, holidays, activities, contact, life-story, talking about uncomfortable topics with a child, behaviours, triggers, and the complexities of life as a family through adoption.

  • The Gentle Parenting Book: How to raise calmer, happier children from birth to seven - Sarah Ockwell-Smith 

    The Gentle Parenting Book is part of a series of books about parenting created by Antenatal Teacher and Doula, Sarah Ockwell-Smith. This book covers parenting in the developmental years birth to seven years old. Some of the developmental stages covered in this book may have already occurred in an adopted child’s life whilst others might be starting in the near to not-so-distant future, so it's a great read for anyone seeking to understand their child’s early years.

  • Between: A guide for parents of eight to thirteen-year-olds - Sarah Ockwell-Smith

    Between is part of a series of books about parenting created by Antenatal Teacher and Doula, Sarah Ockwell-Smith. This book covers parenting in the developmental years eight to thirteen years old. The book blends biology, psychology, and sociology to form practical parenting advice to support parents supporting their child through the transition from childhood to adulthood. The 'tween' years are a time of preparation, change and the start of puberty and these are hugely important years in a child’s development into a young person. 

    Throughout the book Sarah takes a no-nonsense approach to topics including brain development, friendships, relationships, identity, physical changes, emotional changes, behaviour, body image, puberty, consent, romantic relationships, sexuality, gender, screen-time, schooling, finances and preparing your child for independence.

  • The Starting School Book: How to choose, prepare for and settle your child at school - Sarah Ockwell Smith 

    The Starting School Book is part of a series of books about parenting created by Antenatal Teacher and Doula, Sarah Ockwell-Smith. This book explores topics including choosing schools or home educating, special educational needs, and disabilities, preparing a child for school, settling in and transitions. 

    A topic which isn’t covered in this book is that care experienced children (including children who have been adopted) are entitled to priority access, further support, trauma informed practice and funding from schools. It’s worth reading around the topics of schooling in depth as a child approaches this milestone and consider contacting our adoption support team. 

  • Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Parenting a child with an invisible disability – Julia Brown and Dr Mary Mather

    Exposure to substances in utero is a common thread in many adopted children’s life stories. Frequency of use and level of exposure aren’t the only contributing factors to outcomes. This book explores these topics alongside: physical, emotional, and behavioural responses, brain development, diagnosis, parenting, sensory processing, eating, sleep patterns, support, education and supporting your child in developing friendships and relationships with others. 

    In this book Dr Mary Mather speaks as a Community Paediatric Consultant with a special interest in FASD and Julia Brown speaks as joint founder of The FASD Trust and an adoptive mother of two children.

  • Me, The Boy, and The Monster – Cat McGill

    In this book, Cat McGill weaves together her professional experience in developmental physiology with her own family’s experiences of adopting and parenting child who was subjected to abuse in his early years. The book covers: adopting with a birth child, early life experiences, abuse, trauma, brain development, attachment, parenting, disclosures, working with multi agency professionals including police, schools, therapists and social workers and emotional regulation. 

    Cat also shares her experiences of parenting via her website: Cat McGill, Instagram: @folkycat and Twitter: @folkycat

  • All You Can Ever Know - Nicole Chung

    In her nuanced memoir, Nicole Chung shares her life-story as an Asian American transracial adoptee. The book highlights the importance of cultural and ethnic identity, adoptive identity and reconnecting with birth family. Nicole’s book highlights the life-long tension adopted people face between being part of their adoptive family alongside the loss of their birth family. Nicole’s book is a thought-provoking read for adoptive parents as it challenges the desires and perspective adoptive parents and highlights how their ideas may conflict with an adopted person’s perspective.

    The book is important for all adoptive parents to understand the responsibility they have in encouraging and supporting their child to engage with their life-story, encouraging contact with birth family and embracing and promoting a child’s cultural heritage.

    Nicole also uses the book to share her experiences of becoming a parent herself and the complexities that she experienced in this as an adopted person.

    It should be noted that modern UK adoption differs from modern USA adoption especially in the nature that substantially fewer children are relinquished for adoption by birth parents, less children are adopted internationally and that local authorities in the UK have a responsibility to seek ethnic and cultural match for each child before considering interracial adoption. 

  • Emotional Outbursts: A Guide for Parents

    In 2021 the School of Psychology at University of Birmingham and Cerebra (a UK charity supporting children with brain conditions) created a parent guide about ‘emotional outbursts or meltdowns’: Emotional Outbursts: A Parents Guide

  • The Wild Track - Margaret Reynolds

    The Wild Track is a deeply insightful memoir of becoming a mother written by Margaret Reynolds, writer, academic, critic, professor of English and broadcaster. Single, in her mid-forties and having experienced a sudden early menopause Margaret decided to explore adopting a child.

    The book not only follows her journey of adoption, but Margaret also draws on her academic knowledge and love of literature to share an exploration of what motherhood / parenthood is. To achieve this, she references many other books and inspirations which added depth to her decision to become a parent. 

    In the book Margaret shares candidly about a disclosure regarding her sexuality that she reserved during assessment. This non-disclosure ultimately led her first agency to make the decision to end her application. She then shares her subsequent struggle to find a new agency. Margaret also shares her journey from initially only considering international adoption of a baby to eventually adopting a six-year-old child though domestic adoption.

    The final chapters are written by Margaret’s daughter. In these chapters she shares her memories of her childhood including the day she went to live with Margaret and the court proceedings that followed.

    The book highlights key themes such as the importance of; understanding one’s motivations to become a parent, gaining varied childcare experience before adopting, family and community support and the detailed planning for introductions and transitions.

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Podcasts for Adults 

  • Truth be Told: Adoption Stories - National Adoption Service, October 2020

    Truth be Told: Adoption Stories is a heart-warming series, created by the National Adoption Service, which follows the journey of ten adopters from across Wales.

    Prior to featuring in the podcast they’d never met before, but straight away it's like listening to old friends talk; they laugh together, they cry together. Throughout the series they share their first-hand experiences of adoption; from their first steps, all the way through to post-adoption support. Truth be told: Adoption stories is the first, pan-Wales adoption podcast from the National Adoption Service, and it is available in both Welsh and English: Truth be Told: Adoption Stories

  • The Adoption – BBC Radio 4, November 2017
    The Adoption is a series of seventeen podcasts from the BBC. It follows the real life story of Bethany and Ben’s adoption over nineteen months. The series highlights the UK adoption process through the eyes of those affected including the children, birth parents, extended family, social workers, foster parents and adoptive parents. Each episode is between ten and fifteen minutes long: The Adoption
  • Tom Cox on Being a Gay, Adoptive Dad – Not Another Mummy Podcast, Live episode with F&F at Tesco, Series 4, September 2019
    Partnering with F&F at Tesco, Alison Perry of ‘Not Another Mummy Podcast’ interviews Tom Cox, Adoptive Dad to Kai and Adoption Advocate who documents his family life on Instagram. Alison and Tom discuss the process, the matching process, panels, meeting birth parents, the role of foster carers, letterbox contact, introductions and placement and settling in: Tom Cox on Being a Gay, Adoptive Dad 
  • You, Me and Lots and Lots of Love, with Leon Wenham - Black Boy Joy Podcast, October 2020
    Black Boy Joy have created a podcast with Leon Wenham, a Single, Black, Gay Adoptive Father and Adoption Advocate. During the podcast, Leon shares his experience of the triumphs and challenges of parenting and about writing his debut children's book, ‘You, Me and Lots of Love’: Leon Wenham
  • Lisa Faulkner - Happy Mum, Happy Baby Podcast, Series 8, September 2021

    Giovanna Fletcher of ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’ podcast interviews Lisa Faulkner, Actress, Chef, Presenter, Adoptive Mum, and Stepmum. During the episode Giovanna and Lisa discuss professional life, being a pregnancy partner, deciding to try for children, fertility, Clomid, IVF and being a mum through adoption and being a stepmum. This episode also contains discussion around miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy which may be triggering: Lisa Faulkner

  • Four Thought: Mum…again: Angela Frazer-Wicks - BBC Sounds (Originally BBC Radio 4), September 2021
    Angela Frazer-Wicks shares candidly about her experiences as a Birth Parent whose children were removed and subsequently adopted with BBC Radio 4. In this powerful talk Angela describes her heartbreak at her children being removed owing to domestic violence, how, for a period of time, she lost contact with the children, her subsequent advocacy work, having another child and parenting with a new partner and finally reconnecting with her eldest son: Four Thought: Mum...Again
  • Tips for Adoptive Parents and How to Navigate the Journey as a Family – Care for the Family: The Dad Cave Podcast, Episode 7, June 2020 

    In this episode, father of two, Oli Proctor shares his and his wife, Chantelle’s experience of fertility, adoption, and parenting: The Dad Cave Podcast

  • Spotlight on FASD Podcast  

    In this podcast Clare Devanney-Glynn and Jessica Rutherford discuss all aspects of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Spotlight on FASD

    The podcast is also available in video podcast format: Spotlight on FASD

  • Rose and Rosie: Parental Guidance Podcast

    Comedy duo and married couple, Rose and Rosie’s use their podcast to share their experience of starting a family. They invite guests to share their own experience as parents, children of parents, influencers, and professionals. 

    Specific episodes regarding adoption: The Adoption Option! Feat. Isma Almas

  • Dawn French – Happy Place Podcast, March 2018

    In this episode Dawn French shares her experience of desiring to be a parent, miscarriage, fertility treatment, adopting her daughter, Billy and co-parenting with her ex-husband, Lenny Henry: Dawn French

  • Big Fat Negative: TTC, Fertility, Infertility, and IVF Podcast 

    In their Podcast Journalists and friends, Emma Forsyth Haslett and Gabriella Griffiths share their stories of journeying to motherhood. Throughout the seasons they invite guests who are either experts in fertility or people who have navigated a variety of routes to parenthood.

    Specific episodes regarding adoption:

  • Two Good Mums Podcast

    Two Good Mum’s is a collaboration between First Mother and Author, Laura and Adoptive Mother, Peggy. Through their digital platforms including blog, social platforms, and podcast, they share their experiences of open contact and about the growth of their friendship alongside their shared experience of being mums to their children. Laura has also shared her own, personal experiences as a first parent whose children were adopted through her book, Baby of Mine: A Birthmothers Journey Through Forced Adoption

    The Two Good Mums podcast is available across major podcast platforms: Two Good Mums Podcast

  • Black Queer Parents Discuss

    Didi and Priscilla Akutu-Carter and Leon Weham teamed up on Instagram during LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2022 to provide two episodes of ‘Black Queer Parent Discuss’. These Instagram live episodes combine a wealth of information and a perspective on adoption from three people who identify as British, Black, LGBT+ parents through adoption.

     

  • Homospians Podcast

    During LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2022, Homo Sapiens podcast producer, Chris spoke to Instagram dad, Tom Cox @unlikelydad. During the podcast Tom shares the story of him and his husband adopting their son Kai. 

     

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Films, Series and Documentaries for Adults

  • Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption
    Our YouTube channel is the place where we share the stories of our adopters, our news and any other visual resources that we create: Vale, Valleys and Cardiff YouTube
  • Coram 
    CoramBAAF are a charity who work with adoptive parents and adopted children as well as professionals. Their YouTube channel highlights some of the work that they do including working with adopted children and young adults and people who are looking to adopt: Coram YouTube 
  • Adoption UK
    Adoption UK are a charity who work with adoptive parents and adopted children. Their Youtube channel includes some interesting interviews from BBC’s The One Show: Adoption UK Youtube 
  • An Adoption Story - Jillian Lauren, TEDxChapmanU

    Jillian Lauren is an American Adoptive Mother who tell her adoption story from her perspective as both an Adoptive Mother and an Adopted Person. She reflects on family, identity and love during her TEDxChapmanU talk: An Adoption Story

  • Two Mums - Lynne Elvins, TEDxBristol
    Lynne and her partner Emma, became the first gay couple to be approved for adoption in Bristol, UK in 2004. Lynne shares their story of adopting their son Steven during her TEDxBristol talk: Two Mums
  • How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime - Nadine Burke Harris
    Paediatrician and Founder and CEO of The Center for Youth Wellness (USA organisation), Nadine Burke Harris unpacks; through her TEDMED talk ‘How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime’, how repeated exposure to abuse, neglect, care givers / parents struggling with mental health and / or care givers / parents substance abuse issues and the toxic stress caused by these adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) has real, tangible effects on the brain and health outcomes for children and adults: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime
  • What adopted children think you should know - After Adoption
    What adopted children think you should know is an animation which was produced by adopted children and young people and After Adoption (no longer an operational organisation) explaining adoption from the point of view of people who are adopted: What adopted children think you should know
  • ReMoved 

    ReMoved is a short film following the emotional journey of a nine-year old girl, Zoe who has to leave her birth home and is placed in foster care system (USA). In the sequel ‘Remember My Story’ Zoe deals with the court system, foster home life, her birth mom's attempts at getting her life together, the loss of her brother and her future.

    Although American fostering and adoption is often very different to the UK system these films highlight some of the emotional upheaval faced by children who have entered the care system. The films explore how these experiences can impact children’s behaviour and understanding of the world around them and why therapeutic parenting and support are so important: ReMoved Series 

  • Instant Family

    Instant Family is American comedy film starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as married couple, Pete and Ellie Wagner who foster and subsequently adopt three children. Director, Sean Anders, is an Adoptive Father himself and wrote the storyline based on some of his own families experiences.

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

  • Lion
    Lion is a 2016 biographical film based on the non-fiction book ‘A Long Way Home’ written by Saroo Brierley. The film follows the story of Saroo, a five-year-old boy who gets separated from his brother on the streets of Calcutta. Saroo ends up, hundreds of miles from home in a children’s home and subsequently gets adopted by a couple who live in Australia. The film follows Saroo’s journey to Australia; settling into a new family and culture. Saroo’s adoptive parents go on adopt another child whose behaviour is massively impacted by trauma and the film explores how this further impacts the family dynamics. In his 20’s Saroo sets out to find his mum and brother and eventually find his hometown. The film highlights loss, grief, trauma, behaviour, family, love, reconciliation and the fundamental need of a person to understand their life story.  
  • Wanted: A family of My Own - Available on Daily Motion (originally produced by ITV)

    A four part series created by ITV and presented by Nicky Campbell, himself adopted as a baby, ‘Wanted: A Family of My Own’ provides an insight into adoption in the UK. The documentary follows the journeys of a number of adopters from across the UK who have adopted to start a family. The documentary also highlights some of the children whose care plan is adoption: Wanted: A Family of My Own

  • Superkids: Breaking Away From Care - Channel 4 

    Lemn Sissay MBE, Author, Poet and Broadcaster has produced a one-off programme with Channel 4, SuperKids: Breaking away from care. Lemn Sissay himself spent his childhood and teenage years in foster care and care homes and is now an advocate for people speaking out about their experiences of care. During the programme Lemn Sissay works with young people in the care of Coventry Council to explore and express their experiences of being in care through performance. The programme makes clear the intrinsic need of all young people in care for love, family and stability as well as highlighting the importance of these experiences being listened to and learnt from in ongoing and future decision making.

    You can find the programme on Channel 4: Superkids: Breaking Away from Care

  • Me, My Brother and Our Balls - BBC iPlayer

    “In the UK male infertility now accounts for 50% of infertility. As many as two to three million men in the UK could have a fertility problem which typically only becomes apparent when men want to start a family." 

    From our daily life working with people seeking to have a family, we know that male reproductive health is just as important as that of females and it plays a vital role in fertility. Sadly, in UK culture male fertility is still, often overlooked or viewed as a taboo topic. To combat this Love Island star, Chris Hughes and his brother Ben have teamed up with the BBC to create a documentary highlighting the importance of exploring and understanding male reproductive health and fertility. Their hope is that the documentary will encourage people to speak more openly these topics with others, promote learning about male reproductive health and to encourage men to seek support earlier than they may otherwise have done: Me, My Brother and Our Balls

  • Closure (and other short documentaries) – Anglea Tucker 

    Angela and her husband, Bryan never intended to create a feature length documentary about Angela’s search for her birth family but from their personal experience and the footage they had, they felt it could be an educational piece for the public. Closure was picked up for digital streaming services Hulu (2014), Netflix (2015-2017) and Amazon Prime (2016-2020).

    Angela also has a YouTube channel which she uses to upload short documentaries and podcasts to advocate for and elevate the experiences of herself and other people who are adopted. 

  • Trying – Apple TV

    Trying is an Apple TV original, comedy series created by Andy Wolton (a director and an adopted person). The series follows the story of Jason and Nikki, a mid-30s couple who have been trying to have a baby through fertility treatment. The series follows their journey from ‘trying’ to exploring adoption. 

    Some elements of the series are created for viewer entertainment so, there are some inaccuracies, regarding the process however, the programme offers an often light-hearted yet, emotionally aware perspective on fertility, family and adoption: Trying 

  • Ian Wright: Home Truths – BBC iPlayer

    In this powerful and emotive documentary, ex-Footballer, Ian Wright investigates the effect growing up in a psychologically abusive and violent home has on children.

    In 2021, in the UK, 1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse, and in 90% of domestic abuse cases there is a child present. As well as coming to terms with his own experience, Ian sets out to understand the impact that domestic abuse in childhood can have on children growing up and how it can shape the adults they will become.

    Ian experienced domestic violence in his own childhood. He now has children of his own. During the documentary he speaks to his brother about their shared experiences growing up, he revisits his childhood home for the first time in fifty years and then travels across the UK to meet other people who have experienced domestic abuse in their childhoods. He also meets with professionals to talk through his own trauma. Ian discovers how things have changed since he grew up in the 70s, and he finds out how children are supported in the UK today by visiting his former primary school and observing local and charity-led initiatives.

    In the final part of documentary Ian visits a charity that works with people at risk of committing, or who have already committed, domestic abuse and meets a man who is on a course to help him understand and change his behaviour. Ian discovers how abuse can become a dangerous cycle and emotionally reveals that he is now able to begin to forgive his mother and move on from the past. Upon reflection, he concludes that “abuse creates a vicious cycle - it’s up to all of us to stop it”.

    Sadly, many children including care experienced children have witnessed / experienced domestic violence, abuse and neglect and adoptive parents need compassion and awareness of the impact these experiences can have for children and families. This programme may be triggering for people who have witnessed / experienced domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in their own childhood: Ian Wright: Home Truths 

  • Relinquishment and Adoption: Understanding the impact of an early psychological wound – Paul Sunderland, iCAAD: International Conference Addiction Associated Disorders, London 2019 
    In this seminar, Paul Sunderland, a Clinical Director unpacks disguised trauma and focuses on the trauma of adoption for the adoption triad (child, birth family, adoptive family) with a primary focus on the child: Relinquishment and Adoption: Understanding the impact of an early psychological wound
  • How a Child Can Thrive by Five - Molly Wright, TED and Minderoo Foundation

    "What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?" asks seven-year-old Molly Wright, one of the youngest-ever TED speakers. Breaking down the research-backed ways parents and caregivers can support children's healthy brain development, Wright highlights the benefits of play on lifelong learning, behaviour, and well-being, sharing effective strategies to help all kids thrive by the age of five. She's joined onstage by one-year-old Ari and his dad, Amarjot, who help illustrate her big ideas about brain science. (This TED talk was produced in collaboration with Minderoo Foundation as an educational tool for parents and caregivers around the world and is supported by UNICEF): How every child can thrive by five

  • 15,000 Kids and Counting – available on YouTube (originally produced by Channel 4)

    This docuseries produced by Channel 4 in 2014 follows social workers, foster carers, birth parents and adopters over two years as decisions are made that will impact the future of the children involved:

     

  • In care from the age of six: Finding a family, season 1, episode 4 of the BBC Three series ‘Young and Homeless’ – available on YouTube (originally produced by BBC Three)
    In this episode nineteen-year-old Lucy shares her experiences of care since the age of six and her plans to study Psychology at University. She was initially fostered and later found stability in an all-girls hostel. The episode highlights some of the struggles faced by children who require long term foster care: In Care From the Age of Six
  • A Documentary about Adoption - Available on YouTube (originally produced by Georgia Cook)
    In this documentary five adults who were adopted as children (including the producer, Georgia Cook) share their experiences of foster care and adoption. Beverly was adopted as a single child; Harry was adopted with his sister; Georgia was adopted with her brother and Jennifer and Katie are adopted siblings who aren’t biologically related: A Documentary about Adoption
  • Adopted for Life: Becoming an Adult - PAC-UK

    PAC-UK have created a short, thought-provoking film 'Adopted for life: Becoming an Adult’ in which young people and adults who are adopted share their experiences of transitioning from childhood to adulthood as an adopted person: Adopted for Life: Becoming an Adult

    PAC-UK are a UK based charity. They work with people who are affected by adoption, special guardianship, and other forms of permanent care: PAC-UK

  • The Forgotten Voices of Birth Families - PAC-UK

    PAC-UK have created a short, thought-provoking film ‘The Forgotten Voices of Birth Families’ in which Birth Parents share candidly about their lives and the circumstances that lead to their child removed and subsequently adopted, grief, how this lose has impacted their lives and contact: The Forgotten Voices of Birth Families

    PAC-UK are a UK based charity. They work with people who are affected by adoption, special guardianship, and other forms of permanent care: PAC-UK

  • PAC-UK Conference 2021: Voices of Birth Parents: Loss, Hope and Change, October 2021

    In 2021 PAC-UK, a UK based charity who work with people who are affected by adoption, special guardianship, and other forms of permanent care hosted a conference in 2021, Voices of Birth Parents: Loss, Hope and Change. The conference brought together Birth Parents, Birth Family, Adoptive Parents, Adoptive Family, Support Workers and Social Workers to learn more about the perspective of Birth Parents in the adoption triad.

    The event was hosted by Angela, a Birth Mother and contained the voices and perspectives of a group of Birth Parents, Support Workers and Social Workers: PAC-UK Conference 2021: Voices of Birth Parents: Loss, Hope and Change

  • Finding a Forever Family – BBC iPlayer

    In this documentary, Jeremy Cooke meets a range of families who have provided secure futures to some of England’s most vulnerable children through adoption: Finding a Forever Family

  • 24 Hours in Police Custody: Cold to the Touch - Channel 4

    This two-part documentary explores the case of an eleven-week-old child’s death. The programme highlights the impacts of domestic violence and chaotic family life for children and adults, and how crimes of this nature are investigated.

    The documentary also highlights the importance of professionals understanding families lived experiences and for concerns to be raised with support services such as the police and social services: 24 Hours in Police Custody: Cold to the Touch

    If you decide to watch the documentary, please watch with caution. We believe it is important for the public to understand the impacts of domestic violence however, we are also mindful some viewers might find the subject matter distressing and / or triggering.

    If you or someone you know is or may be impacted by domestic violence:

  • Love and Drugs on the Street: Girls Sleeping Rough - BBC iPlayer

    This docuseries follows the lives of several women living on the streets in Brighton and Hove.

    Birth Mothers whose children have been removed into care and people who are care-experienced are over-represented in the homeless community. A 2012 publication from St Mungo’s stated that: “Over three quarters of mothers sleeping on the street have had their children taken away”.

    The series give insight into the lived experiences of women living on the streets including survival, involvement with services, substance use and their relationships with their children.

    In series one, episode two, Birth Mother’s, Paige, Isla, and Maria share details of their experiences with their children and in series three, episode one, Charlotte finds out that she is pregnant while living on the streets: Love and Drugs on the Street: Girls Sleeping Rough

    The series contain footage of drug use which some viewers may find distressing and / or be triggered by.  

  • Our Lives: Finding my Family, Series Five – BBC iPlayer
    This documentary follows Leah, a young woman and Adopted Person from Manchester who was abandoned as a new-born baby in a hospital toilet in 1994.

    Filmed over three years, the documentary highlights the emotional journey that Leah goes on to find her birth family.

    In the present day, very few children are abandoned or relinquished into the care of social service. However, the documentary highlights the importance for all people who are care-experienced to be supported to explore their life-story: Our Lives: Finding my Family, Series Five

    The series contains references to the death of a birth family relative which some viewers may find distressing and / or be triggered by. 

  • Addicted: Last Chance Mums – Available on YouTube (originally produced by BBC Panorama)

    This documentary gives an eye-opening, assumption challenging insight into experiences of Birth Mothers living with their babies in a residential setting for mothers recovering from substance addiction. Residential Parent and Baby Placements are supportive environments usually provided at a staff-led facility or a parent and baby foster placement.

    Sadly, many children in the UK placed for adoption have been exposed to substances in utero and / or in their home environment and many of them may have lived, for a period, in a placement like the one shown in this documentary: Addicted: Last Chance Mums

    The documentary contains visuals of Methadone use and reference to sexual abuse that some viewers may find distressing and / or triggering. 

  • 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 elevates and interweaves the voices of care-experienced children, young people, and adults alongside social workers and foster parents.

    The documentary shares an emotive insight into the bonds of sibling relationships and how and why these relationships should be nurtured: Split up in care: life without siblings

  • Sheffield Children Safeguarding Children Partnership FASD Conference 2021

    On International FASD Awareness Day 2021 Sheffield Children Safeguarding Children Partnership hosted a FASD conference.

    The conference took attendees on the FASD journey, prevention, diagnosis, and support for people diagnosed with FASD and their families, with a range of speakers including people who are diagnosed with FASD, parents and carers of people diagnosed with FASD, people from organisations supporting families impacted by FASD, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FASD, Dr Raja Mukherjee and Dr Cassie Jackson.

     

  • This is Us – Amazon Prime

    This is Us follows the lives of siblings Kevin, Kate, and Randal and their parents. Their parents Jack and Rebecca are initially pregnant with triplets and when one of the triplets is stillborn, they decide to adopt, Randle, a little boy who came into the hospital that day as an abandoned baby.

    The story follows themes of identity, transracial adoption, reconnecting birth family, the experience of the adoption triad (child, birth family and adoptive family) and being siblings through adoption: This is Us

    The series contains reference to racial discrimination, addiction, baby loss, family loss and illness that some viewers may find distressing and / or triggering

  • Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next 

    The documentary follows Harvey Price as he embarks on a rite of passage that thousands of young people do every year, going to college. The documentary highlights the experience of both Harvey, his mum, Katie Price and his extended family as he moves three hours away from home to National Star College, a specialist college for people living with additional needs / disabilities: Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next

  • As We See It – Amazon Prime

    This heart-filled series follows the lives of three, adult roommates living with Autism as they face the challenges of living independently and exploring and maintaining relationships. Depth is added to the story as the main roles are all played by actors who are on the spectrum themselves and the series challenges perceptions, stereotypes and gives poignant insight into the experiences of adults living with Autism and those supporting them: As We See It

  • My Name is Leon – BBC iPlayer

    This drama follows the story of Leon, a mixed heritage, pre-teen boy, his maternal, white, baby brother Jake, and their mother, Carol. The story initially follows Leon as he tries to meet his own and Jake’s needs while their mum is experiencing a breakdown. When adults later discover the situation the family are in, Leon and Jake are removed into foster care. Initially they are placed together but they are later separated because Jake is adopted.

    Sadly, for many older, care-experienced children, separation from their siblings can occur because it is often harder to find adopters who will consider older children (3+) and sibling groups. Also, across the UK mixed heritage, black and ethnic minority children often wait longer for matches, especially black male children.

    Nowadays in social services practice, more empathises is put on keeping siblings together. Where this isn’t viable children are supported to keep in contact with their siblings via letterbox and/or in-person contact and are supported with life-story work to understand their identity.

    The story later follows Leon as he continues to live with his foster mother, Maureen and later, when Maureen becomes ill, Maureen’s sister, Sylvia. The storyline then follows Leon’s exploration of his black ethnic and cultural identity which highlights the need for representation, love, protection, and community. The story also follows Leon as he questions and grieves the separation from his brother and birth mother and highlights the importance of life-story and contact: My Name Is Leon

  • Atypical – Netflix

    This drama follows the life of Sam, an 18-year-old who is on the autism spectrum as he decides it is time to seek more independence. The show highlights not only Sam’s journey but also the journey of his family as they adapt to Sam’s desire the become more independent. Although the story isn’t based on adoption, throughout their childhood, children can be diagnosed with additional needs including Autism. Therefore, it’s important for adopters to prepare themselves by learning more about additional needs.

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Blogs and Vlogs for Adults 

  • Daddy and Dad - Jamie and Tom
    Daddy and Dad is a blog by Jamie and Tom who are daddy and dad to Lyall and Richard. Jamie and Tom blogged the process of adoption and now talk about their day to day life as dads. There is also a section of the website dedicated to stories from other LGBT+ parents: Daddy and Dad 
  • Aimee Vlog - Aimee
    Aimee is an adoptive mother who vlogs about her experiences of fostering and adopting two children in the UK system. She talks about the process of adoption, contact with birth parents and the celebration day amongst general mum life.
  • You, Me and Lots and Lots of Love - Leon Wenham

    Leon Wenham is a single, black, gay adoptive father and adoption advocate. He has set up an online group for single, black, gay dads and in 2020 he wrote his debut children’s book, ‘Lots and Lots of Love’. He has also recorded a podcast episode with Black Boy Joy where he shares in more detail his experiences of adopting and being a parent.

  • Mumaduke Designs

    Mumaduke Designs was created by an adoptive mum around a year after she adopted her son. At the time she was trying to find a suitable card for letterbox contact and she eventually decided to go home and make her own. Since then she has created a shop specialising in items that celebrate adoption and a blog and social media presence where she talks about her experiences of being a parent through adoption. 

  • Rosemary Lucas

    Author and adoptive mum, Rosemary Lucas uses her blog and social media presence to talk about her experiences of being a parent through adoption.

    Rosemary’s debut, rhyming children’s book, The Family Fairies explains the adoption process in a fun and accessible way with colourful illustrations and really makes the story of adopting come to life. The book is based on Rosemary’s own adoption journey and tells the story of a mummy and a daddy who want to have a family and ask for the help of two ‘Family Fairies’ aka two social workers. Rosemary hopes this book will be the start of a series of books which will help children and adults alike understand adoption in a clearer and more vivid way and spark wider interest in adopting as a pathway to starting or extending a family. 

  • Jeena Wilder 

    Haitian-American mom, Jenna Wilder documents her and her husband, Drue’s experiences as parents to both adopted and birth children. She highlights their family’s experiences of interracial marriage, transracial adoption, home-schooling, parenting, the role her faith in her life and motherhood. 

  • The Adopted Life - Angela Tucker 

    American, Transracial Adoptee, Angela Tucker is a public speaker, educator, mentor and consultant. She uses her voice, social media presence, YouTube channel (containing short documentaries and podcasts) and website to advocate for and elevate the experiences of herself and other people who are adopted. 

    Angela and her husband, Bryan never intended to create a feature length documentary about Angela’s search for her birth family but from their personal experience and the footage they had, they felt it could be an educational piece for the public. Closure was picked up for digital streaming services Hulu (2014), Netflix (2015-2017) and Amazon Prime (2016-2020).

  • Socially_inept_club and Sunday_club - Bee and Leigh
    Bee and Leigh, socially_inept_club and sundayy_club share their experiences of being mothers to their daughter, Red via Instagram
  • Two Good Mums
    Two Good Mum’s is a collaboration between first mother and author, Laura and adoptive mother, Peggy. Through their digital platforms including blog, social platforms, and podcast, they share their experiences of open contact and about the growth of their friendship alongside their shared experience of being mums to their children.

    Laura has also shared her own, personal experiences as a first parent whose children were adopted through her book, Baby of Mine: A Birthmothers Journey Through Forced Adoption

     

 

Useful Websites for Adults

  • National Adoption Service for Wales (NAS Cymru)

    Promotes and supports best practice in adoption across Wales: Adopt Cymru

  • British Association of Adoption and Fostering

    National organisation providing information and training: Corambaaf

  • Adoption UK 

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

    • 029 2023 0319
  • New Family Social 

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

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

  • UK Government

    UK Government have a section of their website dedicated to adoption. It covers topics such as domestic and overseas adoption, step parent adoption and information about the legalities and assessment process.

  • Family Information Service

    Each local authority in Wales has a Family Information Service (FIS). FIS provide free, impartial help, support, advice and information for families and carers about local services and a range of family topics. 

    They can provide information and support such as: 

    • Childcare including the 30 Hour Childcare Offer for Wales
    • Activities, leisure services and groups for children and young people
    • Groups and services for new parents
    • Family support services
    • Support for children with disabilities or additional needs 
    • Newsletters and regular information bulletins
    • Health and well-being information
    • Signposting to useful information and Welsh Government Programmes

    FIS also arrange and run free events and sessions with parents in schools and the community and have holiday activity programmes.

    The contact details for your local authority’s FIS can be accessed by selecting the area of Wales where you live on their website: Family Information Service 

    Our local Family Information Services are:

     

  • Welsh Government

    Welsh Government have a section of their website dedicated to parenting advice: Parenting. Give it time. The site provides resources, media and case-studies to support parents to ‘encourage positive behaviour, boost your child’s confidence and support their development’.

  • SNAP Cymru

    SNAP Cymru provides information, advice, training, and support for parents, children and young people who have, or may have, special educational needs or disabilities: SNAP Cymru

  • National Organisation for FASD

    The National Organisation for FASD provides support to people affected by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), their families and communities; campaigns to raise public awareness; and promotes relevant policies and practices: National FASD

  • FASD Awareness

    FASD Awareness is a charitable organisation with a clear vision: “Where all people are aware of the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy and mothers are supported to stay healthy and strong during pregnancy, and individuals living with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are identified, recognised, valued and supported”: FASD Awareness

  • FASD UK Alliance
    FASD UK Alliance is a coalition of groups and individuals from across the UK who are united together for positive social change for those with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): FASD UK Alliance
  • British Medical Association (including information on the BMA Alcohol and Pregnancy: Preventing and Managing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Report)

    The British Medical Association supports, lobbies and campaigns on the issues impacting the medical profession.

    In February 2016 the British Medical published an updated report on Alcohol and Pregnancy: Preventing and Managing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders June 2007 (Updated 2016): BMA Report:

  • Care for the Family 
    Care for the Family is a UK wide, Christian faith-based charity who provide family and parenting advice and support to families of all faiths or none: Care for the Family

 

Information for adults who are blind or partially sighted

  • Vale, Valleys and Cardiff 

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

    If you find any further information around this topic that you think could be useful to our parents please forward it to us. We are always looking to expand our resources and love a good recommendation: contact@adopt4vvc.org 

  •  RNIB Cymru
    RNIB Cymru (Royal National Institute of Blind People, Wales) is Wales’ largest sight loss organisation. RNIB provide a wide range of services and support to blind and partially sighted people well as campaigning for service improvements and to prevent avoidable sight loss. RNIB Cymru can provide advice and support on looking after a child as a parent with sight loss, as well as connect you with support groups and local events for families depending on where you live. 
    RNIB have a members group called RNIB Connect which is free to join: RNIB Connect.
    For local services you can use the RNIB's Sightline Directory which is a directory of organisations for people with sight loss: RNIB Sightline Directory.
    Our adopters advise us that if you contact RNIB directly they will offer you specific support and advice and can send audio copies of information where required. 
  • Blind Parents UK

    Blind Parents UK is a group set up by visually impaired mums and dads from all over the UK. To find out more you can visit: Blind Parents UK

    Blind Parents UK have collaborated with RNIB to create a video: What is being a blind mum really like?

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Information for adults who have a faith / religion / heritage / cultural observances

  • Faith, Religion, Heritage and Cultural Observances 

    Faith, cultural observances, religion, heritage, identity, race and culture are component parts of a person’s life and identity and we encourage people to share these with us as they partake in the adoption process. 

    We are inclusive and we don’t discriminate based on ethnicity, age, disability, faith, sexuality, gender identity or relationship status. Our team take responsibility to continually engage with and challenge themselves in learning more about racism, discrimination (of any kind), cultural observances, traditions and faiths. 
    We pledge to continue to highlight and celebrate all types of family and continue to actively learn more about cultures and identities and challenge ourselves to make sure we are anti-racist and non-discriminatory in all we do. We have pledged with Zero Racism Wales to support for a zero-tolerance approach to racism in Wales. 
    We are always looking to expand our resources so, if you know of any helpful resources that could be included in this section please get in touch.

 

Christianity

  • Home for Good 

    Home for Good is a UK, faith sensitive charity that campaigns to build awareness of adoption and fostering within the Christian community. Home for Good work within the broad sphere of adoption and fostering and within the Christian community to highlight UK fostering and adoption from a Christian perspective. They also take part in the National Adoption Steering Group (England).

    Home for Good coordinates a network of area workers, adopters, foster carers and professionals to provide a network to support for parents, families, foster carers, professionals and those exploring adoption and fostering. They work with local churches and organisations to raise awareness of adoption and fostering within the wider Christian community. Home for Good is encourage churches and organisations to host ‘Adoption Sundays’ to raise awareness and they also host a centrally located, conference once a year for adopters, foster cares

    Krish Kandiah, Chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (England) and the previous founder and CEO of Home for Good is the also the author of ‘Home for Good’ a book which talks about adoption from his own personal experience.

  • Care for the Family
    Care for the Family is a UK wide, Christian faith-based charity who provide family and parenting advice and support to families of all faiths or none: Care for the Family

 

Islam 

 

Apps for Adults 

  • British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid App

    British Red Cross have created a free, baby and child first aid app to support people in keeping their little ones safe. The app is designed to support parents, grand-parents, and caregivers to learn first aid skills to prepare for and help in a first aid emergency. The app includes tips on how to prepare for emergencies both at home or while out and about using: simple step-by-step skill guides, videos, animations, interactive quizzes, a toolkit feature to record children's medical needs and signposting to further information. 

    The app can be downloaded on Android and IOS from a variety of app stores: British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid App 

  • Sands Bereavement Support App
    People considering adoption may have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or baby / child loss. Where this is the experience of an adopter(s) we will discuss this sensitively during the adoption process and we encourage you to access support from specialist services before and when you need them.

    Sands, the UK’s leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity has created a free, bereavement support app which aims to support bereaved parents and families and professionals working with parents and families find correct and informative information when they need it. The app contains support around: making difficult decisions, giving birth, saying goodbye, and remembering your baby, post-mortems, sexual relationships after loss, future pregnancies, returning to work and how to support children.

    The app can be downloaded on Android and IOS from a variety of app stores: Sands Bereavement Support App

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Books for Children and Young People 

We would encourage adults to read these stories before sharing them with their children due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. The content may not be suitable for every child and therefore each book should be considered based on the individual child’s emotional capacity, life-experiences and understanding / ability to cope with the sensitive topics continued. Careful planning is often required for adoptive children. 

  • The Story of Tracy Breaker (and subsequent series) - Jacqueline Wilson

    The Story of Tracey Beaker series by children’s author Jacqueline Wilson explores the life of Tracy and a group of children waiting for forever families and foster families. The majority of children now enter foster care instead of residential homes however, the books explore the realities of children’s experiences coming to an understanding of their early life experiences and navigating life in care. The series often explains the complex emotions and resulting behaviours felt by children in care and their desire for connection and family.

    The Story of Tracy Beaker is part of a five-part series of books: 

    • The Story of Tracy Beaker (1991)
    • The Dare Game (2000)
    • Starring Tracy Beaker (2006)
    • My Mum Tracy Beaker (2018)
    • We are the Beaker Girls (2019)

    We would encourage adults to read / watch the stories before considering sharing with their children due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. The content may not be suitable for every child and careful planning may be required. The book is aimed at readers 10+ but, like many other Jacqueline Wilson books the age should always be dependent on a child’s emotional capacity and understanding of the sensitive topics involved. 

    The Story of Tracy Beaker series is available as books. The BBC have also adapted ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’ into a TV series which is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. The BBC also created a spin off series, ‘Tracy Beaker Returns’ in which Tracy becoming an assistant care worker at the home that she grew up in. This is also available to stream on BBC iPlayer. 
  • Gus becomes a big brother – Heather S. Lonczak, PhD
    This story follows Gus’ story of becoming a brother through adoption. The story starts with Gus starting to understand what being a brother will look like. Gus has lots of feelings and questions about becoming a brother and his parents and the social worker support him throughout the book to learn and grow. Towards the end of the book Gus’ new brother Pacco comes to live with them and Gus has lots of new feelings and questions which the family work through with him as the family begin to bond.
  • Collecting the Diamonds - Sian Booth and Siobian Rhodes
    Collecting the Diamonds is a beautifully crafted book, created by adopted sisters, Sian and Siobian. The story follows Nua and her adoptive parents, Toni and Jordan as they encounter some of the typical challenges associated with children who have experienced trauma.

    The book encourages children and their caregivers to embrace the concept of ‘collecting the diamonds’. These ‘diamonds’ are special moments that they have shared together as a family, which they can recall to encourage themselves through any new challenges they may face.  

    There is an animated version of the book available on YouTube: Collecting the Diamonds

  • Meesha Makes Friends - Tom Percival
    Meesha Makes Friends is a warm, affectionate and beautifully illustrated book which follows the story of Meesha, a creative child who is finding it difficult to make friends. The book is perfect for helping children to navigate social situations and build positive attachments / relationships with others. 
  • Daddy, Papa and Me / Mommy, Mama and Me - Lesléa Newman
    Both of these beautifully illustrated, rhyming board book follows a toddler spending the day with their parents. These books highlight the normalities of family life in a fun and engaging way for young children. 
  • Two Dads / Two Mums - Carolyn Robertson 
    Both of these books follow the first-hand thoughts of a child with LGBT+ parents. The books explore everyday life for a child and highlights the normalities of family life in a fun and engaging way for children. 
  • Two Mums and a menagerie – Carolyn Robertson

    This rhyming story follows the lives of a family as they continue to grow after their first adoption. The story covers being adopted, gaining a sibling through adoption, adopting pets and moving to a new house.

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

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

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

    The Family Fairies is self-published and available online.
  • Y Boced Wag - Eurgain Haf
    Y Boced Wag, written by Eurgain Haf, is the first, original, Welsh language children’s book about adoption.

    Eurgain, an adoptive mother herself, was inspired to create the story after her son came home from nursery school with a picture of a kangaroo who looked sad. She asked him why he thought the kangaroo looked downcast. He replied “because her pouch was empty”. Eurgain told him that they would find a way to put a smile on the kangaroo’s face and together we came up with the story.

    Y Boced Wag (The Empty Pouch) follows the story of Cadi the kangaroo as she goes in search of happiness, and to fill her empty pouch. Cadi sets off on a big adventure 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.

    Eurgain uses the story to explain to her son what being adopted means, to explain to him the gap that he had filled in their family and the happiness that he has brought them. She hopes that by publishing the story it can be used to explain adoptive identify in a simple way to all children. 

    Y Boced Wag is published by Y Llofa and available at Welsh bookshops and online. 
  • The Blanket Bears – Samuel Langley-Swain
    The Blanket Bears follows the story of two little bears who need a forever family. The story tracks their journey from leaving their original home with the social worker, to living in foster care, to finally meeting and moving in with their forever family. The story explores the relationships the bears have with all these people and explores emotions towards change. It is a lovely book, often used to prepare children before they meet their adoptive family. It is also a great way to talk about life-story with children and allow them to ask questions about their life-story including time with foster parents. 
  • The day of your arrival – Dolores Brown and Reza Dalvand 
    The day of your arrival is a beautifully illustrated book that explains to children the journey and preparation that their adoptive parents went on before meeting them. It reminds families that initially they experienced different journeys before becoming a forever family and reassures the child that they are secure and loved.
  • The Kites Tale – Molly Ashton
    In her new children’s book, The Kites Tale, author Molly Ashton explores adoption from a birth child’s perspective. The story follows the story of two children, Archie who longs for a sister, and Posy who needs a forever home. The story explains to children the roles of social workers, foster carers and adoption panels and some of the harder issues of adoption such as challenging behaviour and contact with birth family. The story shows the honest realities of adoption in all its complexities especially for children already living in the family home.
  • Am I supposed to feel this way? A seven-year-old birth child’s experience of adoption – Elizabeth Archer
    This book guides children through the process of adoption, building bonds and becoming a family. The story is told from the perspective of seven-year-old Oliver who gains a brother through adoption. The story covers the period between wanting a sibling and finding out that his parents are considering adoption through to his brother settling in and the positives and challenges of life as a new family of four.

    The book poses questions after each chapter so that children can reflect and explore their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in greater detail, with or without a parent. There is a further section at the end of the book for the child to write about their own story and explore some of the positives and challenges they may face when becoming an older sibling through adoption.

  • Dustbin Baby - Jacqueline Wilson

    Dustbin Baby written by children’s author Jacqueline Wilson follows the story of April, a fourteen-year-old girl who was abandoned by her mother at birth. The story centres around April’s fourteenth birthday. After an argument with her foster mother, Marion April makes a spur of the moment decision to explore her life-story by revisiting the places and people who have been significant in her life. She starts by visiting her foster carer, which leads her to remembering her adoptive placement (which had a tragic ending) and her subsequent years living in care; including living with multiple foster carers and in residential homes / schools. The final place April explores is the place of her birth, a back alley behind a Pizzeria and this leads her to meet the man who discovered her in the Dustbin fourteen years previously. A dual narrative unfolds throughout the storyline as Marion also explores her own experiences and feelings as a foster parent throughout the day while she tries to find April. 

    The story is highly poignant for children and adults alike as it unpacks experiences of care, exploring life-story and the challenges and joys of relationships along the way.  

    We would encourage adults to read / watch the story before considering sharing with their children due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. The content may not be suitable for every child and careful planning may be required. The book is aimed at readers 10+ but, like many other Jacqueline Wilson books the age should always be dependent on a child’s emotional capacity and understanding of the sensitive topics involved. 

    Dustbin Baby is available as a book and the BBC made a film adaptation of the book in 2008 which can be found on BBC iPlayer. 

  • The NEW Small Person – Lauren Child
     The NEW Small Person is a light-hearted and humorous story about Elmore Green who is not to pleased when a new, small person, Albert comes to live in the family home. Elmore is used to being an only child and life as a big brother brings it challenges for him. This is a great story for anyone considering adopting who already has a child living with them to help prepare the child or for anyone managing sibling rivalries. 
  • Bravely Being Me – Adoption UK

    This collection of inspiring biographies highlights the lives of adopted people; it contains a mixture of known, adult personalities and young people from across the UK. The book is a great resource to encourage a child that they can thrive, achieve and ultimately that they are not alone in their experience of being an adopted person.

    If you are an Adoption UK member, you can use the promo code they issued you with when signing up to receive a member only discount. 

  • The Last Firefox – Lee Newbery

    In his debut children’s fiction novel, The Last Firefox, Welsh, adoptive father, Lee tells the story of Charlie, a young boy who is swept up into an unexpected adventure where he discovers his bravery to save the last Firefox.

    Lee mixes humour and heartfelt emotion to weave together to create an enchanting story where incidentally the main character is an adopted person living with his dads. The book includes themes of loyalty, love, self-confidence and finding your inner courage.

    Recommended reading age: 8+. Please be aware that in the story Charlie and his friends take a life-threatening risk on a railway line - parents/teachers may wish to discuss this with readers.

 

Apps for Children and Young People

  • Sesame Street Breathe App
    This app encourages children to explore different schemas, tasks, and situations (putting on shoes, going to school etc), naming and identifying overwhelming emotions associated with these situations, taking control with breathing techniques to restore calm, and making plans to reduce and resolve anxiety in the future. In each storyline the child is shown a gentle animation of a (friendly) monster experiencing a situation and feeling overwhelmed. The child is then encouraged to tap on the monster’s belly to help them calm down using a slow breathing technique. Once the monster is calm the child is then encouraged to ‘pop bubbles’ which give the monster three ideas for plans he can use to further reduce and resolve anxiety associated with the activity. The child is then encouraged to choose one of these plans and watch the animation of how the plan helps to monster find resolution. 
    The app can be downloaded on Android and IOS from a variety of app stores: Breathe
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Films and Series for Children and Young People 

We would encourage adults to watch these films and series before sharing them with their children due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. The content may not be suitable for every child and therefore each book should be considered based on the individual child’s emotional capacity, life-experiences and understanding / ability to cope with the sensitive topics continued. Careful planning is often required for adoptive children. 

  • Goodnight Mr Tom - Carlton Television

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

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

  • Inside Out - Pixar

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

  • Matilda - TriStar Pictures / Jersey Films

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

  • The Story of Tracy Breaker – BBC iPlayer 

    The full series of ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’ is now available to stream on BBC iPlayer. The series explore the life of a group of children waiting for forever families and foster families. The follow up series ‘Tracy Beaker Returns’ is also available. In this series Tracy becoming an assistant care worker at the home that she grew up in. 

    The majority of children now enter foster care instead of residential homes however, the program explores the realities of children’s experiences coming to an understanding of their early life experiences and navigating life in care. The series often explains the complex emotions and resulting behaviours felt by children in care and their desire for connection and family. 

  • Dustbin Baby – BBC iPlayer

    Dustbin Baby written by children’s author Jacqueline Wilson follows the story of April, a fourteen-year-old girl who was abandoned by her mother at birth. The story centres around April’s fourteenth birthday. After an argument with her foster mother, Marion April makes a spur of the moment decision to explore her life-story by revisiting the places and people who have been significant in her life. She starts by visiting her foster carer, which leads her to remembering her adoptive placement (which had a tragic ending) and her subsequent years living in care; including living with multiple foster carers and in residential homes / schools. The final place April explores is the place of her birth, a back alley behind a Pizzeria and this leads her to meet the man who discovered her in the Dustbin fourteen years previously. A dual narrative unfolds throughout the storyline as Marion also explores her own experiences and feelings as a foster parent throughout the day while she tries to find April. 

    The story is highly poignant for children and adults alike as it unpacks experiences of care, exploring life-story and the challenges and joys of relationships along the way.  

    We would encourage adults to read / watch the story before considering sharing with their children due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. The content may not be suitable for every child and careful planning may be required. The book is aimed at readers 10+ but, like many other Jacqueline Wilson books the age should always be dependent on a child’s emotional capacity and understanding of the sensitive topics involved. 

    Dustbin Baby is available as a book and the BBC made a film adaptation of the book in 2008 which can be found on BBC iPlayer. 

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Books for Children and Young People: Growing Up

It’s important that children to have bodily awareness, autonomy, and integrity as they grow and develop as this forms a significant part of their identity and helps to keep them safe.

We appreciate parents will have varying levels of exposure, knowledge, understanding and personal experience of these topics which is why we have added this section to make sure everyone feels ready and prepared for topics that shouldn’t feel taboo.

It’s important that you explore these topics before and during the ongoing process of their development.

We would encourage adults to explore the content of the suggested resources before sharing them with their children due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. The content may not be suitable for every child and therefore each book should be considered based on the individual child’s emotional capacity, life-experiences, and understanding / ability to cope with the sensitive topics continued. Careful planning is often required for adoptive children. 

  • The Autism Friendly Guide to Periods – Robyn Steward

    Menstruation (periods) is a defining moment in a female or menstruating person’s life.

    Menstruation signifies a transition from childhood / teen years into puberty and it’s important that children are aware of these changes and how to navigate them. Menstruation can start from any age but generally it happens between the ages of 8-16 years old

    Understanding menstruation and possessing body bodily awareness, autonomy and integrity from childhood will prepare a child for when the time comes for themselves to experience this development or to understand the experience of another person.

    The book offers a clear, detailed, visual guide to anatomy, bodily development, and menstruation. The book is written primarily in easy read version / social stories to support a person’s understanding what menstruation looks and feels like and what will happen including how to use a variety of sanitary products.

    Author, Robyn Steward is herself an autistic person and Honorary Research Associate at UCL. She was inspired to write the book to create the book to remove stigma, taboo and make discussions about menstruation part of ‘growing up’. The book was peer reviewed by medical professionals prior to publication and received accolade from the medical community.

    Further information:

  • Amazing You: Getting smart about your private parts – Dr. Gail Saltz

    Children are naturally curious and being curious about our bodies is important especially as we’re constantly growing and developing.

    However, for parents and carers (especially those who may have received less education about this topic in their own childhoods) navigating their child’s curiosity can feel daunting. Ultimately, it’s important that as a parent you feel equipped to answer these questions truthfully, in a shame free and developmentally sensitive manner.

    This book is aimed at children who are becoming sexually aware but aren’t ready to learn about sexual intercourse and gives parents a comfortable platform for further discussion.

    The book names and explains male and female reproductive organs through child sensitive illustration and text. It also provides a basic template for understanding the process of a male and female conceiving and birthing a baby.

    Dr. Gail Saltz is an associate professor of Psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a practising Psychiatrist. She has added an author’s note at the back of the book which explains your child’s curiosity, how to use the resource and encouragement on how to engage and explore this topic with them.

    Further information:

  • Making a Baby – Rachel Greener and Clare Owen 

    In this illustrated, inclusive guide can be used to support children learn about their bodies, how babies are created, how babies develop, how birth happens and family diversity. The book includes conversation surrounding sex, fertility treatment, surrogacy, and adoption. There is also a glossary at the end which gives further explanation of terms used in the book. 

  • What is a period – Nikki Tajiri

    This illustrated, rhyming book can be used as an introduction to the topic of menstruation (periods). In the book June mum explains what periods are and the process and the purpose of them. The book also encourages children to explore how cultures celebrate and inspires them to think about how they would like to celebrate this milestone for themselves.

  • The Girls Guide to Growing Up – Anita Naik

    This guide has been created to support children prepare for and understand female puberty. The book supports children to explores female experiences of puberty including hormones, breasts and bras, growth, hygiene, body hair, sex organs, menstruation (periods), sex, how babies are created, wellbeing, self-esteem, body image and privacy and consent. The book also briefly explores some male experiences of puberty. 

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