The POTATO group

Covid 19

At this time of the year we would normally be busy organising our AGM and Conference. This has historically been held in Birmingham in November. Obviously this year that is just not possible. It is a weekend we look forward to. The chance catch up with other members face to face, listen to some wonderful speakers and, most importantly, relax and have some fun! We are hoping that in 2021 we are able to hold our Arts days and Conference and meet up on an ad hoc basis with other local members. Also that we are able to welcome new members to the group with a chat over a coffee.

We plan to hold our AGM for paid up members on Zoom. Details to follow.

Welcome to all parents of teens (and post teens) adopted in the UK

We are a UK based group of parents who have adopted our children from the looked after system in the past 20+ years. All of our teenagers are incredible survivors who need specialist parenting which can be very hard going. Despite dealing with some heavy subjects, we like to meet socially and have a bit of relaxation with other parents who understand what we are facing. We are looking forward to the easing of restrictions which will enable this to happen again. These pages are by way of an introduction to our group, our aims and an overview of what we do. We accept families with adopted children, teens and young people but our focus is supporting parents through the teenage years.  Our group is a not for profit organisation committed to this community. We promote (and try) to follow therapeutic principles (in depth document HERE.)

Here is a brief (not exclusive) list of things the POTATO group do.

  1. Demonstrate kindness to fellow adoptive parents, and their children, primarily via our secret Facebook group but also, when circumstances allow, face to face.
  2. Actively encourage “self care” by members, to help protect both their physical and mental wellbeing.
  3. Share our considerable expertise in areas such as housing, specialist schools/ colleges, mental health problems, therapy, addictions, the criminal justice system and other difficulties traumatised young people often bring into our lives.
  4. Signpost national events of interest to our members.
  5. Promote good practice and present to local and national authorities.

Please visit our membership section for details of how to join us.

POTATO Arts day.

Every year, we have a couple of days break from looking after our traumatised adopted young people.

In the team of POTATO we have some talented artists, caring compassionate and fun individuals. We have all lives life with traumatised adopted young people and all genuinely knowledge the score.

So, we have an Arts Day. There’s a meal out all together the night before and it’s a relaxed and supportive group.

This year we have been focusing on designing a ‘Self Care Island’.

Here are a selection of collages and paintings our POTATO creatives made!

If you would like to know more about being in a POTATO arts day and joining up because you have traumatised adoptees, please email

New publication from SG&AT.

We have been really impressed by the recent publication by Special Guardians and Adopters Together. For those who don’t know, we work with this organisation a lot to help give an honest picture of modern adoption.

Several of our members are also members of this other group and have contributed to this very interesting publication. Apparently, there is going to be one every quarter and we will be keen to see their next piece.

We especially liked the friendship and support section. But the charity details are also helpful and the insight into the position of Special Guardians.

Here is the link online.

Here is a PDF version you can download.


Parents experience of Child Protection.

There are a large number of families with traumatised adoptees who have been subjected to child protection enquiries. Our group has experienced the whole range of enquiries, from the simple set of questions by a social worker to full child protection conferences.

The vast majority of these are about the young adopted person making false allegations. These allegations can be to do with the young person’s anger, emotional turmoil at the time or simply confusion with which memory belongs to which set of adults.

Prior to adoption, our families were fully vetted and accepted as excellent prospective parents. We are often told by CAMHS and Post Adoption that we are doing a really great job with really hard kids.

However, often the fact that it is an adopted, deeply traumatised and attachment disordered individual making an allegation is not fully recognised by the authorities.

Sonya talks about her experiences with the authorities following a false allegation against her. (Headphones recommended.)



When a child is trafficked…

Not an easy thing to talk about but our wonderful adoptive mum Sonya and her daughter Danni are giving it a go.

There are a fair proportion of adopted young people who become involved in trafficking, county lines and other undesirable activities. It is truly terrifying as a parent and of course as a child.

These poor choices are tied in with their repeated early trauma which damages their self worth, ability to attach and causes repeated developmental trauma.

Here is the clip with Sonya and Danni talking about sexual exploitation.


Foetal Alcohol and School

There are lots of adopted children who have foetal alcohol who have particular challenges in life and educationally.

Not many children are diagnosed at birth because unless it can be proved that birth mum consumed alcohol through pregnancy to a degree that is likely to cause harm, there is often no diagnosis.

Here, Sonya and Danni discuss her late diagnosis and the impact knowing this had on her and her education in particular.


Film 1- Modern Adoption

We are delighted to share a set of short film clips made by one of our members and her now young adult daughter.

Emotional in places, with a few swears (you have been warned) but it is raw and so authentic you will get really drawn in.

We found that listening through headphones is easier as the speaking is a little quiet in places.

This first clip gives an over view and a solid introduction to Sonya and Danni.

When your adopted teen has a sudden change of staff.

We have a great deal of parents of traumatised adopted teens who struggle at school. Their troubles are often to do with the ways school run and how tricky things can be to negotiate when you have had a lot of early traumas, prior to adoption.

One of our adoptive parents has written a really helpful, insightful piece on how it is for our adoptive young people facing staff changes in school.

It can be a HUGE problem.

This short piece from the adopted young persons point of view,  covers many of the reasons why.


Reflections on Adoption.

This is an article written for professionals and adoptive parents to use to inform themselves about a way forwards. We think there are some problems within adoption that need addressing.

It is written by one of our members, based on many years of adoptive parenting. This individual has experience of birth parenting too, and so knows how very different the experiences of parenting are.

Have a look through the article and see if you agree with the questions posed. What would you say are the issues that need addressing within modern UK adoption?


What every social worker should know working with adoptive parents.

Over in POTATO group we have a lot of families involved with social workers.

Even when the adoption order is through it’s very clear that families need support from professional people who can access relevant help for our traumatised young people and their families. Sadly, our experiences of services often fall short and at times catastrophically so for our family lives. Our traumatised adopted teens get very badly effected.

There’s a few total diamonds in the service, I’m a committee member of POTATO writing to you today and I can name a few. We would like to see the standards raised to excellent across the board helping post adoptive families.

Every now and again, we come across something that resonates so loudly with our collective experiences that we want to share it.

This is a piece published here with permission of the author (yes, we asked!)

Essential reading for anyone involved in post adoption, especially social workers.