Adoption and Fostering
Adoption will be likely to have a life long emotional impact on those involved: whether you have been adopted yourself, are a member of an adopting family, or are a birth family member of someone placed for adoption. Finding a counsellor who has been specifically trained to help with this complex area of work is really important (see below) – I can help you get a better understanding of how adoption may be affecting one or many different aspects of your life.
Adopted / fostered: I work with children (aged 10 and up), young people and adults who have been through fostering or adoption services, whether that’s a long time ago, very recently, or at the moment. You may be experiencing
- difficulties with making or maintaining close friendships/relationships
- a need to make sense of your history
- feeling angry or withdrawn, worthless or misunderstood
- problems with trusting others
- anxiety about tracing, reuniting or current contact with your birth family
- repetitive, unhelpful or destructive patterns of behaviour
- an overwhelming need to be in control
I will work to help you find ways to cope with and manage whatever current problems you are facing. Although it can sometimes be very difficult and emotionally painful, often by looking back at where these problems may have come from, we can better understand your history and make positive changes for your future.
Adoptive family and foster carers: my main aim will be to give you some time away from the family in order to explore what is going on for you. It can often be useful to focus on how to build stable and strong bonds of attachment with your child/ren, in order to be the parent you want to be, regardless of how long ago they were placed. This may include providing you with
- a space in which to off load the stresses of your daily life
- support, encouragement and advice on dealing with difficult behaviour and emotional turmoil
- time for you to explore your own childhood and discover the impact that may be having on your current parenting
- a place to (re)connect with your partner to build a strong parenting partnership
- a safe space to talk about conflicts and imbalances in attention, control, or discipline within the family
All members of an adoptive family are welcome to contact me and can benefit from support, whether you are a parent, grandparent, sibling etc, or the child of someone who was adopted.
Birth family members: the reasons for children being placed for adoption or fostering are hugely complex, and they will have a life long impact on those involved in the decision. No matter how long ago your family member was placed, I can help you to explore how it may be affecting you, your relationships, or your everyday life. You may
- be thinking about whether to place a child for adoption
- want to trace your birth family member
- be feeling deep, long-held emotions that you would like to explore
- have felt very angry about the circumstances of adoption
I will listen without prejudice or judgement, and will work with you to help find ways to cope with and manage whatever current problems you are facing. Although it can be very difficult and emotionally painful, often by looking back at your history, and clearly at your current circumstances, we can make positive changes for your future.
Approved Adoption Counselling (abridged from Counselling Directory website)
In December 2010, new legislation was introduced stating that any counsellor working with a client for whom any aspect of adoption is the main focus, must be registered with Ofsted, or work under contract with an Adoption support agency (such as Barnardo’s Link Counselling Service). Along with previous amendments to the Adoption and Children’s Act of 2002, this is designed to ensure that the one in four UK individuals affected by adoption in some way, are provided with support and services from practitioners who hold the proper qualifications and experience.
Further help and information on how counselling can help:
Funding may be available through the Adoption Support Fund: