PAC-UK Service User Case Studies

PAC-UK service users (adoptive parents, special guardians and birth parents), have shared their experiences of adoption and how PAC-UK has helped them overcome the challenges associated with it. 

We have set up this page to enable birth parents, adoptive parents or other permanent carers to share their stories, and hopefully help encourage others to seek support from PAC-UK. If you are interested in sharing your own experience please contact us here.

*The following case studies are from PAC-UK service users who have consented for their experiences of adoption and support services from PAC-UK to be shared.

Please note, some details (primarily names and ages) have been changed to protect identities. Please click on the read more links at the end of each preview to read each story in full.

Overcoming Trauma from Forced Adoption: Rebuilding my Life with PAC-UK

Slowly, and with ongoing guidance and support from PAC-UK, I have been able to come to terms with the grief and loss for the first time and deal with the impact it has had throughout my life. No one could truly understand what it was like when my son was taken from me; there was no consensus, no acceptance. But, with PAC-UK, I am finally able to handle the guilt and start rebuilding my relationship with my son and hopefully my brother.Ruth, Birth Mother

About half a million babies were adopted in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, most of which were born to unmarried women. During this time the Catholic Church, Church of England and the Salvation Army were responsible for running “mother and baby homes” and adoption agencies in the UK.

In November 2016, the Catholic Church apologised for its role in pressuring young unmarried mothers into adoption.

In this account, Ruth* discusses her experience of adoption in the 1970s and how PAC-UK is helping her acknowledge and overcome the long-lasting effects and rebuild relationships with her son.

Ruth, Birth Mother

"When I found out I was pregnant at the age of 17, I was over the moon. With no parents of my own and an older boyfriend who I believed would support me, I thought it was the start of my own family unit.

While I whole-heartedly embraced the news, the relationship with the father turned sour and he told me he wanted nothing to do with both me and his unborn child. Nonetheless I was fit, healthy and working and I wanted to proceed with the pregnancy. Call it motherly instincts, but I knew it was a boy..."
Read Ruth's story here.

Easing the Transition into High School with PAC-UK

"The service that PAC-UK offers - the professionalism and knowledge that they have about the struggles experienced by adopted children - are second to none. Their input has helped our family grow alongside the education system that can be so challenging for our special children”Richard and Sarah, Adoptive Parents

Richard & Sarah, Adoptive Parents

"Some 12 years ago we adopted our two beautiful girls. Having soon settled into family life and taking on our new responsibilities our weekly routines revolved around making sure they got to experience and try lots of different things. –play groups, swimming, dance, music, etc.

As the years have gone by the girls have progressed through pre-school, primary and on into high school. Throughout this time we have always been open and honest with them about their adoption, letting them have access to their birth story and seeing pictures of their birth parents.

We have talked to them about why they were adopted and always tried to explain what happened, for them to be moved to be with their forever family..." Read Richard and Sarah's story here.

Looking Beyond the Legal Order: Helping Reduce Isolation and Crisis for Special Guardians

“PAC-UK helped us realise that we are not alone in the challenges we face.”Andrea, Special Guardian

Two years ago Andrea* and her partner Craig* became special guardians to her young nephew and niece aged 4 and 5 respectively. With a teenage birth child and facing parenting for a second time in later life, they reached out to PAC-UK for advice and training. In this feature Andrea shares her experiences of special guardianship and how she and her partner are building bridges with their children with the help of PAC-UK.

Andrea, Special Guardian

"Two years ago my partner and I became special guardians to my young niece and nephew after spending almost 18 months in foster care following a traumatic start to life.

We were approached by social workers who set up a family group conference where relatives were invited to submit for special guardianship. Of those who put their names forward, we were considered the best fit and were promptly awarded custody of the children.

Now in our 40s and 50s we are faced with parenting young children for a second time. Our peers, like us, either had grown up children or none at all which meant we felt out of place in the circle of friends that we had become accustomed to..." Read Andrea's story here.

Coming to Terms with Adoption Thanks to PAC-UK 

“With PAC-UK I have been able to change my life for the better. I am no longer in a toxic relationship, and feel prepared to care for my child again.”Hannah, Birth Mother

In 2009, Hannah* was in a violent relationship that resulted in her losing custody of her two girls who at the time were both under the age of 5. After five years in foster care, her youngest child *Annie was adopted while Rebecca* remained in the system.

After being assessed by social services, Hannah is now being awarded custody of Rebecca. With her daughter due to return to her care in a few weeks, she recalls the events that followed the forced separation and how PAC-UK is helping her cope with the loss of one child and reuniting with another.

Hannah, Birth Mother

"In 2009 I was in a violent relationship. As a result, my two young girls were taken from me after social services deemed me unable to adequately meet their needs, and they were placed in foster care with a view to finding adoptive parents.

While in foster care I was able to see them during supervised visits, and I was aware that the plan was to adopt them together; as siblings should be. For five years they waited, but it became apparent that it was unlikely they would ever be adopted together.

The courts decided it would be best to try and place at least one child, so my eldest daughter Rebecca* was removed from the adoption order and in 2014, my youngest Annie* was placed with a family. To this day, Rebecca remains in the foster care system..." Read Hannah's story here.

Further information

We have set up this page to enable birth parents, adoptive parents or other permanent carers to share their stories, and hopefully help encourage others to seek support from PAC-UK. If you are interested in sharing your own experience please contact us here.

For press and media enquiries please contact us here.