Sue’s Adoption Highlights
Our Music Therapist Kath shares her 100 Voices story!
Looking back on my career many of the highlights have been linked to work in adoption. I remember as the Manager of the Permanence team in Aberdeenshire in the early 2000’s, I was so proud to be involved in placing children with our first same sex adoptive parents. At that time there was no legal mechanism for same sex partners to adopt on an equal footing meaning that one of the dad’s had to adopt the children and the other had to apply separately to the courts for parental rights and responsibilities. Thank goodness for the 2007 Adoption and Children Act which meant that same sex couples could adopt together for the first time.
One of my favourite jobs was with BAAF (British Association for Adoption and Fostering) as Project Lead setting up the Adoption Register in Scotland. This was a time when linking and matching of children with adopters was led very much by social workers. We didn’t show prospective adopters a photo of the child/ren they were to be linked with until after they were matched. This was in part to prevent them ‘falling in love’ with the child before they had really understood all the implications of the child’s background. My belief at the time was that chemistry and adopter led matching could and should play a part in our practice in Scotland. I still remember the fear I felt organizing the first ever Adoption Exchange Day in Dundee – fear that was only really matched by the anxiety of the prospective adopters who turned up (early!) on the day full of trepidation. I’m pleased to report that the day was a huge success with children being matched to adoptive families and many myths being busted about the capacity of prospective adopters to ‘keep the heid’ and make positive matches even when they were led by love.
It was the privilege of my career to be offered the CEO role at Scottish Adoption in December 2021. I had always been so impressed by the work of the Agency who have been for many years at the forefront of adoption practice in Scotland. Our practice continues to develop and evolve, our language is changing in line with the Promise and our recognition that support, connection and love are at the heart of adoption influences all that we do. I am looking forward to continuing to lead the Agency and am excited for what the coming months and years will bring as we continue to build our skills and knowledge in adoption work while developing our mainstream fostering provision.