National Adoption Week - A portrait of adoption through the generations

Portraits of thee adopted people with words around them which are what adoption means to them

The three One Adoption agencies - which provide the adoption services for 15 councils in the Yorkshire and Humber region - are joining agencies across the country to support this year’s National Adoption Week, which seeks to show how adoption has changed through the decades.

Across the Yorkshire and Humber region there are currently around 200 children of all ages who are waiting for a safe, loving, permanent home through adoption, so the agencies are also keen to encourage potential adopters to come forward to change the lives of these of children.

To mark the launch of National Adoption Week, which runs from 16 to 22 October, a powerful set of portraits captured by royal, fashion and portrait photographer Philip Sinden - who was adopted himself in the 1970s - have been released. The portraits show striking imagery of eight different people who were adopted between the 1960s-2010s.  Each individual portrait features a backdrop of emotive and poignant words that bring to life how adoption has shaped, and continues to shape, their live and highlights how adoption has changed over the years.

The portraits have been released alongside a new short film captured during the photoshoot and hears first-hand the group’s different experiences – challenging misconceptions about what adoption looks like today.

Through these powerful stories of adopted people across different generations, this campaign aims to shine a spotlight the positive impact adoption has had on the individuals’ lives, and the strides made in the sector to put children and their sense of identity at the heart of the adoption journey. Whilst recognising the challenges they have faced along the way; the new campaign brings to life the transformational power of adoption. 

Tom Maxwell Adoption Service Manager at One Adoption North and Humber said: “At One Adoption North and Humber we are proud to support this year’s National Adoption Week. It is not only a chance to celebrate modern adoption and hear the voices of all people who have experienced adoption across the generations; it is also an opportunity to highlight adoption as a positive option for permanency for some of our most vulnerable children. We support anyone considering adoption as a pathway to creating and growing a family and welcome them to get in touch with us to find out more.

Historically, adoption was often seen as secretive and hidden, with little information and support provided to help adopted people understand their history and maintain connections with their birth family. However, it is now considered vital that adopted people have a good understanding of their history and the reason why they were adopted to help form a positive sense of identity. 

Michelle Rawlings, head of One Adoption West Yorkshire, said: At One Adoption West Yorkshire we believe in helping our adoptive families support their children to continually explore their own stories, to help build their sense of identity and belonging. By having open, honest conversations, using memory boxes and life-story books, children are supported to understand all the aspects of their lives which makes them who they are.
“We also have a dedicated Adoption Support Worker who is there to support adoptive families to build and maintain connections with people from their child’s life, such as birth relatives and foster carers, to help nurture their understanding and identity.” 

There is still a huge need for more people to come forward to adopt, with a 23% decline nationally in the proportion of children leaving care via adoption over the last five years - last year (2022), 2,950 children left care via adoption, 900 less than in 2018.  

In Yorkshire and the Humber the majority of children waiting for adoption (around 60%) come from specific groups who repeatedly face the longest delays in finding a home. These groups include children aged four or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from a global majority background. 

Stephanie Evans, head of One Adoption South Yorkshire said“We are always particularly keen to hear from people who could offer a safe and loving home to a group of brothers and sisters, a child with additional health needs or an older child, all who tend to wait the longest for a forever family.”

Information Events

  • During the week, the One Adoption South Yorkshire team will be hosting an online information event on Wednesday, 18 October at 4.30pm, where team and an adoptive parent will be on hand to answer any questions. 
  • One Adoption North and Humber is hosting an online adoption information event on Wednesday 25 October between 6pm and 7pm to give anyone interested in adopting the chance to ask questions, find out about what is involved and to hear about the range of support that is available to adoptive families.
  • One Adoption West Yorkshire is next hosting an online adoption information event on Saturday 28 October at 9.30am to give anyone interested in adopting the chance to ask questions, find out about what is involved and to hear about the range of support that is available to adoptive families.
  • To book a place please click here to visit the information events page



Contact details

For media enquiries and interview requests please contact: Emma Glanville, regional communications and marketing lead:

E-mail: Telephone: 0113 3789188