This National Adoption Week, 16–22 October 2023, Adopt London joins with adoption agencies across the country to shine a spotlight on the impact adoption has had on adopted people’s lives.

The new You Can Adopt campaign is showcasing how adoption has changed through the decades and exploring how it has shaped the lives of adopted people. Launching with a short film and a powerful set of portraits captured by royal, fashion and portrait photographer Philip Sinden (who was adopted in the 1970s), the portraits show striking imagery of eight different people who were adopted between the 1960s-2010s. Each image features a backdrop of poignant words that bring to life how adoption has shaped, and continues to shape, their lives.

You can view some of the portraits and the film below, then head over to our social media channels – @adoptlondonuk – and throughout the week you can follow the campaign with us.

Portraits on adoption

NATHANIAL: Transformational. Opportunities. Hope.

Nathanial is a second-generation adopted person from Uganda. Nathanial’s mother Isabelle was adopted herself, so she knew the importance of ensuring Nathanial’s adoption journey was always a part of his identity. Isabelle created photo albums to make sure Nathanial had visual memories of his birthplace and cultural heritage.

ISABELLE: Identity. Wondering. Everything.

Adopted person and adoptive mum

Isabelle was adopted when she was six months old in the 1980’s. Growing up in the 80s, adoption was not often something that was openly discussed. Because of this, Isabelle didn’t grow up with a full sense of her identity or where she came from. After adopting two children herself, Isabelle wanted them to feel as comfortable as possible asking any questions they may have and is supporting her daughter in maintaining contact with her birth family.

Bringing to life the changes in modern adoption

This short new film features interviews with seven adopted people, as they discuss how adoption has shaped them and what adoption looked like to them in their particular era. The emotional film brings to life the changes in modern adoption – where the younger participants have a much greater understanding of their heritage, whereas those adopted many years ago do not tend to have the same level of understanding about their background.

It features photographer Philip Sinden, comedian Joy Carter, mother and son Isabelle and Nathanial, who were both adopted, Luke and Callum.

Could you promote a child’s history and identity?

Adoption is not a line in the sand, modern adoption suggests that adopted people don’t close the door on all connections to their life, memories, and relationships from before they were adopted. For the person who is adopted, it is one life – and issues around identity and belonging can come to the fore at any stage of their life.

This campaign aims to further encourage potential adopters to come forward to change the lives of children who are still waiting for their adoptive family. If you are interested in adoption, the best place is start is with research. You can look at the ways that you can support a child needing adoption, and how you can promote their identity throughout their life. Take a look at our Adopt London Information Pack page or book an event to find out more.

New podcast with Nick Ede

For National Adoption Week, broadcaster and pop culture expert Nick Ede talks to Samantha about her life as adopted person. Samantha’s family have three generations of adopted people – her mother, herself and now her son. She has seen first-hand how adoption has evolved through generations, to become a much more transparent and open process.

Nick was also adopted and didn’t find out until he was 14 years old. In this episode, Samantha and Nick discuss their experiences, and how modern adoption has evolved and puts a greater emphasis on helping children understand their history and make connections with their past.

Click the link to listen to this podcast – Identity, Openness and Birth Family Contact

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