Some of us have never talked about what it feels like to be adopted – even to a partner or a close friend. But if you find you’re ready to open up, where do you start? UK blogger, How To Be Adopted, offers a few tips…
Some adoptees spend years thinking that being adopted hasn’t affected them in the slightest. Others may have a feeling there’s something going on, but have no idea who to talk to. Perhaps you tried bringing up adoption when you were a child or teenager and didn’t get a very warm or understanding response. Whatever your age it really is worth trying again as there are a number of supportive communities out there.
Online support groups
There’s a strong adoptee community on Twitter, and many of us use anonymous accounts so it’s a safe way to talk openly about being adopted. It’s worth mentioning you are a newbie so people know to look out for you. I’ve had coffee with lots of adoptees I met on Twitter and it’s lovely to exchange stories and talk about any challenges. Always meet in a public place and tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
There are several Facebook groups such as Adoptees Speak and the Adoptees On supporters group (for supporters of the podcast, approx. £9 per month). Even if you’re not ready to post, it’s useful to read through the threads and see that others may be having similar issues around identity, relationships and search/reunion.
British Korean Adoptees are a group of adoptees and friends who meet to chat and eat, and sometimes, (though not compulsory) share their experiences of being adopted from Korea. Their group is open to all Korean adoptees, not just British adoptees.
Rachel from On Being Adopted also runs an online book group for adopted people.
Face-to-face support groups
I only know of a few support groups in the UK, but please get in touch if you hear of others. The North London Adopted Adults Support Group is for anyone in Barnet, Haringey, Camden, Hackney, Enfield or Islington. Contact your local council and ask for the Adoption Support Team, or email me at email@example.com
ICA, based in Hertford, runs a group for intercountry and interracial adoptees called International Searchers Gatherings. You can call them on 0208 447 4753.
Rachel from On Being Adopted has coordinated several London meet-ups. To be first to know when she organises another one, join the On Being Adopted mailing list.
Wherever you live in the UK it’s worth contacting your local council to ask about support for adopted adults. If they don’t hear from us, they may assume we don’t need support!
Face-to-face support and counselling
PAC-UK offer specialist adoptee support and counselling services. You can also ask your GP about services in your area, or find specialist counsellors by searching for “adoption” on the BACP website.
Although not interactive, listening to adoption podcasts is one way to hear about the experiences of others.
However you choose to start opening up, remember to take things slowly and look after yourself. When I first started talking about being adopted, I found it helpful to increase my self-care activities such as restorative yoga, walking in the fresh air and getting enough sleep. Good luck and well done for getting this far.
Please note, all content published on this page is provided by our guest blogger, based on their real-life experiences. We invite you to discuss this blog via PAC-UK's Twitter profile and ask you to tag @PACUKadoption in to your posts and use the hashtag #PacukBlog
This blog is the first of our NEW monthly 'guest blogger' platform. We would love to hear from adoptees, birth parents (and relatives), adoptive parents/carers, special guardians and professionals who are interested in taking part in future blogs. If this interests you please email firstname.lastname@example.org.