It takes some tough cookies to talk as Scotland celebrates national Adoption Week

To celebrate Adoption Week Scotland, adoption agencies all over the country are holding different kinds of events to help bring more light to the subject.

Scottish Adoption is one of the many organisations taking an active role to help the community understand the issue.

Scottish Adoption gearing up for questions in Edinburgh. / Image credit: Scottish Adoption Twitter page

The agency held a bake-off charity event yesterday evening, at James Gillespie High School, in support of the week. The event allowed people to mingle and share their personal experiences, as well as being a fun day out for the family.

Taking care of a child is never an easy job. Around 5,500 children are adopted by families every year in the UK. The majority of adoptions are children in care that are: over the age of one, siblings, or children with certain disabilities.

Many children also suffer from significant neglect, trauma or abuse before being taken into care, which can lead to the kids developing a range of complex emotional and psychological difficulties.

Past research has shown that almost three-quarters of adopted kids have developmental issues and mental health problems of one kind or another.

Dr Sue Brown, of Adoption UK, believes that while many families are glad to help, they still lack the appropriate skills to face certain new challenges.

“Adoption is not a silver bullet. These children’s problems don’t just disappear overnight. Both adoptive parents and adopted children need skilled help and support,” she said.

The week looks to get communities to discuss adoption positively

Dr Brown noted that it was important to acknowledge the kids as non-threatening beings, even if some portray violent tendencies due to past traumas.  These agencies today aim to provide support and advice to both the children and new families through numerous workshops, sharing sessions and lectures.

Robin Duncan, director of Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland and manager of Scotland Adoption Register, told us that their main objective is to get the community to discuss about both positive and negative sides of adoption work.

He said: “There’s a worry that over simplistic accounts lead to polarised views. Adoption needs to be seen in context of the whole system instead.

“We have made the theme, or strap line for the week, ‘we need to talk about adoption’Our aim is to highlight the positives, but also to encourage discussion about some of the challenges and complications – properly appreciating these helps us make adoption work as well as possible for everyone involved.”

There are several other events happening in Edinburgh during the remainder of the week, including a conference with acclaimed speaker and author, Lisa Cherry. The conference will consist of talks, workshops and a short documentary screening and will be held on this Friday (24th November) at the Hilton Carlton Hotel from 9:30am.

Seats for the conference can be booked here.

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