It is National Adoption Week from October 17 to 23. One of its aims is to explore adopted people’s identity to challenge misperceptions.
Adoption is not a line in the sand, when adopted people close the door on all connections to their life, memories, and relationships from before they were adopted. In fact, it can be incredibly important for adopted people to know where they came from and feel connected to their past.
Often this is through physical keepsakes such as letters, photographs or childhood toys from their birth parents or foster families, for example.
Here, siblings John and Nikita reflect on relationships from before, during, and after they were adopted and what has helped them to connect to their heritage and build a sense of identity over time.
My sister Nikita and I were adopted when we were very young, alongside our two other siblings. It was a big change for our parents, going from having no kids to having four all at once! Our birth parents weren’t able to look after us and meet our needs, so we were put up for adoption so we could be looked after.
Our adoption has never been a secret – our parents have always been open with us about what happened in our lives, and each of us had a life story book, which told the story of our adoption journey. We were able to read it whenever we wanted, ask questions and talk about our lives before we came to live with our new family.