Monday, 6 August 2012

I was lucky to have been adopted

Today on the BAAF adoption & fostering blog we hear from Iain, who looks back on his adoption in 1975 and tells how adoption has been a "very positive experience" for him, his adoptive family, and his birth family.

I was adopted in 1975 when I was a little baby. Well, I say 'little', but I was 10lbs at birth and was so long my feet dangled over the end of the Moses basket my adoptive parents had brought to collect me in! My mother still tells people about how she waited for me in an upstairs room and heard the nurse's bounding footsteps gradually turn to heavy thuds as she carried me up the stairs!

I moved to Middlesbrough with my new parents and their adopted son, who became my older brother. I always knew that I was adopted; my Mum told us a story about a lady who wasn’t able to look after her baby offering him to another lady who had always wanted a baby of her own. So from a young age I simply accepted that I was adopted and never thought it odd. I always knew my parents loved me in the same way that my friends' parents loved them.

I was always curious about my birth family and who I looked like. When I became an adult, I decided to trace them. Fate obviously wanted to help! The letter I wrote to the tracing agency was in the same social worker's in-tray as the letter my birth mother had written to try to trace me! We spoke on the phone and then met up. I already had loving parents and a family so for me it was all about curiosity rather than feeling something was missing, but still felt something 'click' as I met my three half-siblings and extended birth family. There was a strong family resemblance (especially our eyes) and it was very funny to notice our shared mannerisms.

My parents had encouraged me to go to university but I was unsure what to do afterwards. My birth mother is a social worker and, after tracing her, I felt that this was something I would like to do. Over the years I have worked a lot in fostering and adoption. I now spend much of my time assessing potential adoptive parents and foster carers. There were so many things that adopters need to know that I decided to write an eBook ('The Essential Adoption Guide: Everything the potential adoptive parent needs to know') on my experiences in the hope that it will increase awareness of who can adopt children and what the assessment process is like.

I know that I couldn't have lived with my birth mother and was extremely lucky to have been adopted as a baby by such a loving couple. Adoption has been a very positive experience for me, and I really hope that today's children can receive the same advantages. My birth mother visits every few weeks. There's no awkwardness between her and my Mum... and my children have the benefit of an extra grandmother!

If you need info or advice about adoption, please visit the main BAAF website If you would like to share your adoption or fostering story on the blog, contact

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