National Adoption Week 2022: identity

It’s National Adoption Week – 17 to 23 October 2022, which this year focuses on the theme of identity and relationships. Look out for regional and national promotion recognising the significance of identity for those children who are adopted as they mature into adulthood. Through Adopt South West we will also continue to highlight the consistent need for adopters for some of our most vulnerable children.

With Adoption UK and You Can Adopt, we are holding a series of FREE events throughout National Adoption Week, you can find out more about the events and sign up here.

This year’s new emotional short film brings to life the connections that adopted people make and how their sense of identity has been formed through various connections in their lives. It features four adopted people:

  • Tiegan and her birth father
  • Emma and her adoptive mother Jill
  • and Nikita and John, biological siblings who were adopted together.

They look back through their own ‘memory boxes’ from their lives before and after they were adopted and talk about how they have made an impact on their sense of identity.

The aim is to show adoptive people’s lives as a whole life with various chapters, rather than pre and post being adopted. We also aim to raise awareness of the importance of adopted people having an understanding of and knowledge about their life prior to adoption.

Identity, especially for adopted people, is likely to be a life-long journey that evolves as new information, experiences, and relationships develop. While not all adopted people will have mementos from their early life, modern adoption encourages access to a range of quality information. Many adopters today make it a priority to help their children to understand and develop their identity.

Sarah Johal, National Adoption Strategic lead, said:

“It’s really important for adopted people to know about their own history, their family and where they come from. Having continued relationships where that is safe and appropriate is ideal, but if not, it is important for adopted people to have information, stories and keepsakes as connections to their past can really help children as they get older develop a positive sense of identity and emotional wellbeing.

“With this campaign we want to show that adoption is not a line in the sand, when adopted people close the door on all connections to their life, memories, and relationships from before they were adopted. For the person who is adopted, it is one life – and issues around identity and belonging can come to the fore, particularly if they are not able to have a face to face relationship. It is so important for each person to have the information and connections to their life before adoption. That’s why, during National Adoption Week, we’re urging people to find out more about what modern adoption looks like and shining a light on the ongoing journeys of those who have been adopted.”

I am adopted and I want to find out more

We offer support to children, young people and adults who are adopted or are going through adoption.

We recognise that adoption is a lifetime experience. We provide services to people who were adopted as children, and are now adults, who may wish to access their birth records or trace birth family members – on behalf of the local authorities covering Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. If you are a person who is adopted, we can offer help and support. Find out more on our website here.

Considering adoption?

If you are considering adoption, take a look at some inspiring stories from local people who have already adopted.

Use our ‘Ready to adopt?’ checker to learn more about who can adopt and when the time might be right for you.

If you are thinking about adopting you can book a place on one of our adoption information events. You can talk to adoption social workers and families who’ve adopted, watch a presentation, find out more about the application process, and get your questions answered.

You can also sign up to receive email alerts about future events for potential adopters.