Adoption can sometimes be an emotional path to navigate, regardless of the circumstances in which you are doing it. Everyone has their own unique experience; luckily, many people are willing to share theirs, as well as many tips and tricks they’ve picked up along the way. Even after the adoption process is complete, there may still be times when you need reassurance and guidance to overcome the challenges that might emerge.
Below we have compiled a short list of some of the adoption blogs, podcasts, books and YouTube series currently available – hopefully this list will assist you to spend less time googling and more time making special memories with your family. These accounts provide insights into how other adopters have handled the challenges thrown their way, what you might expect from the process as well as some general reassurance that the thoughts and feelings you have are normal.
These are just some of the blogs and podcasts you might find of interest if you are thinking about adoption, in the process of adopting a child or even if you are an experienced adopter. There are many others available and the suggestions here have been compiled only to give you a head start!
Truth be Told
One of the best ways to learn about adoption is to hear from people who have been there and done it.
Our six-part podcast follows the adoption journey of a group of different adopters as they give their personal account of the ups and downs of the process, useful tips for along the way. Covering key themes such as the assessment and approvals process, being matched with a child, the initial meeting and the first crucial hours, right through to the support they have needed since their child has been placed.
This podcast is great if you’re thinking about adopting, or if you’re already an adopter and simply want to hear about the experience of others.
Regional Adoption Agencies
If you’re adopting in Wales, the resources available on local adoption agencies websites are informative and will assist you at any stage of your journey.
When you adopt in Wales, you will either apply to one of our Regional Adoption Agencies or one of the Voluntary Adoption Agencies depending on where you live and your preference. Each adoption service has its own website and bank of useful tools, resources and advice.
As these local adoption agencies make up the National Adoption Service for Wales, the information you find on the websites will be similar and all are kept updated on a regular basis – they will also sign post you to further resources and places to go if you’re in need of a helping hand.
As well as information online, the adoption agencies also run local Information Evenings, and are on hand to answer any questions or enquiries you may have over the telephone.
Adopter Stories looks into topics such as becoming an adopter or a foster carer and what to expect upon making your first enquiry, the impact that faith has on an adoption journey, and adopting sibling groups.
Presented in a friendly way, each episode covers a new topic, presenting real experiences and different perspectives in bitesize pieces. Episodes vary in length – from shorter 5-minute ones, to more in depth 25-minute conversations.
Mainly targeted towards people who are already considering adoption, this is a great way to hear about the many different reasons that couples and individuals choose adoption, and what the process was like for them.
In contrast to the Truth Be Told podcast, this podcast offers discussion on particular topics and covers the journey of an adopter in one episode – rather than the whole process being divided across a series.
Not Another Mummy Podcast
One of the UK’s leading parenting podcasts, Alison Perry speaks with a different guest every week to discuss the challenges of parenting and family issues.
This podcast offers a mixture of opinions and covers some more challenging topics such as talking to your child about race, raising a transgender child, handling parental separations and much more.
You’ll be sure to find some food for thought in this podcast series, as well as some comfort in knowing you’re not alone if you find yourself having to deal with any of the challenges discussed.
Collecting the Diamonds
Authors: Siobhan Rhodes, Sian Booth, Illustrator: Lewis Foulstone, Publisher: Create You Arts
Available as a book or to watch as a YouTube series – Collecting the Diamonds is a beautifully crafted story, created by adopted sisters, Sian and Siobhan. Made for adopted children, Collecting the Diamonds is an easy-to-follow story which presents complex feelings such as anxiety around food, bedtime and bath times as well as other day-to-day challenges.
Following the story of Nua and her adoptive parents as they encounter some of the typical challenges synonymous with children who have experienced trauma, the book presents simple strategies to help overcome some of these difficulties. The book encourages the concept of ‘collecting the diamonds’ – special moments that are shared together as a family, to offer encouragement through dealing with any new challenges.
Whilst this is a fictional story, the emotions and trauma discussed are considered to be real and relatable for adopted children.
The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting
Author: Sarah Naish, Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting is a strategy focused, no-nonsense book which is easily accessible.
Therapeutic parenting is a nurturing parenting style, and one that is especially effective for children who have experienced childhood trauma and who may also demonstrate attachment difficulties. Outlining a model of intervention widely recommended in the adoption world, the book gives parents/care givers effective responses to 60 common problems faced by many adopted children. Included in this are difficulties with sleep, acting aggressively, advice on what may trigger these issues and how to respond.
Reviewed by adopters and therapists, this book has been deemed ‘a must have’ for every therapeutic parent.
No Matter What: An Adoptive Family's Story of Hope, Love and Healing
Author: Sally Donovan, Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishing
‘No Matter What’ by Sally Donovan tells the uplifting true story of an ordinary couple who build an extraordinary family. Following Sally and Rob Donovan on their journey from their diagnosis of infertility to arriving at the decision to adopt. An account through emotional process of the adoption of the sibling pair they now parent and to working through the traumas of the children’s past with the help of therapeutic parenting.
Sally also established the No Matter What organisation made up of a group of professionals experienced in foster care, adoption, social work, residential care and therapeutic practice. They host training webinars and events for parents for therapeutic parenting, adoption support, support for parenting of adopted children with difficult pasts, etc.
An Adoption Diary
Author: Maria James, Publisher: CoramBAAF
Told by Maria, this moving memoir follows the delightful highs and heart-wrenching lows of the voyage that led them to their new adopted son. A touching story that is undoubtedly of solid value for anyone considering adopting or those already participating in it. It aims to gain insight into the ups and downs of adoption and foster care through various personal and family experiences.
Published as part of the "Our Story" series, this is a fascinating and inspiring story about the emotional journey of a family meeting their new child and growing together as a family. It honestly describes the difficulties and joys of the family and provides fascinating information about the adoption process.
The National Adoption Service, also has a wide range of our own resources for you to use. As well as information on the website and the podcast our own resource pack is designed to assist anyone who has begun or is yet to begin their adoption journey. Our pack contains several exercises for you to do on your own or with your partner to help you think about the process of adoption, adoptive parenting, therapeutic parenting and so much more. It also includes some activities that you can do to prepare including online training, reading and TV/Films. We hope you find them useful, remember you can contact us at anytime via phone or email, we’d love to support you wherever you are in your journey!