Today (Monday, November 21) marks the start of the first ever Adoption Week Scotland, hosted by Adoption UK, and this year’s theme is The Reality of Adoption.
The purpose of the week is to highlight that adoption today is not what it was a generation ago; and show that adoptive parents in Scotland require timely and appropriate support.
Broadcaster Nicky Campbell is an ambassador for Adoption UK and Adoption Week Scotland.
Nicky said: “A lot of people recognise me as co-presenting ITV’s Long Lost Family which reunites relatives after years of separation.
“But these ‘happy ever after’ stories of adoptees being reunited with their birth parents will only become rarer and rarer.
“This is because very few children are put up for adoption today because of a stigma of being born out-of-wedlock, for instance.
“Most will have come instead from a background of abuse and/or neglect.”
Nicky, who was adopted as a baby, added: “Adoption has changed dramatically since I was adopted which is why I want to champion Adoption Week Scotland and help to persuade decision-makers across Scotland to give all adoptive families the right to timely and appropriate support.
“I know how adoption can be a hugely transformative experience for both children and their families. I’m incredibly grateful to my adoptive parents who selflessly took me in as their own and provided a loving and stable family home.”
“Adoptive parents are unsung heroes who should be lauded for providing better life chances for some of society’s most vulnerable and damaged children.”
In terms of support, unlike those in Scotland, adoptive parents in England can apply for funding through the Adoption Fund (ASF) which pays for specialist assessments, various forms of therapeutic support and short breaks.
The UK government set aside £21 million this year (2016/17) for the ASF, £28 million next year (2017/18) and there will also be further increases to the ASF in every year of this current Parliament.
There is no such fund for parents in Scotland, according to Adoption UK.
This is why Adoption UK is currently campaigning for a Fair Deal for Adoptive Families in Scotland.