In the United Kingdom, parents of teens who are adopted, face unique pressures. The children they adopted often come with very traumatic experiences and lack the the nurture, safe parenting and relational dependence they needed. Some have been abused, neglected and had various carers. In the UK, most children were pre-schoolers at placement but we have found that even tiny ones can be deeply affected by their traumas. Further, genetic and environmental factors detrimental to development are identified long into adoption which further hinder these young peoples stability. We all have adopted children from the care system. All these things lead to a patchy sense of identity. Identity is a key area of adolescent development and for our teens, its a huge issue underpinning many extreme behaviours. Dr Kim Golding explains it really well. Pyramid of emotional needs and handy information HERE.
Many adoptive parents have unwittingly taken on children with many layers of complex needs and found even if not physically impaired, the numerous emotional, social and developmental difficulties our young people face impacts deeply on us. Parents expectations and hopes for their adoptees has to make way for these complex needs and that can be incredibly hard going. Secondary Trauma is common affecting the relationships, well-being and capacity of parents to deliver specialist therapeutic reparenting. Heather Forbes article explaining some of the feelings faced by parents gives a good overall picture. Parent stress article
Parents of traumatised adopted teens are often from professions and are experienced adoption practitioners with up to date expertise in the theoretical, practical and legal matters appropriate to our families needs. We cannot fix our children but we can face things together, that’s what the POTATO group is all about.
We are a group of around 300 parents of adopted teenagers from all over the UK.
Collectively we parent young people who have suffered early, repeated trauma and continue to face difficulties in their teen and young adult years.
Our purpose is to provide a peer based service for families who are host to teenagers who hurt and help them access support, information, resources and friendship from people who are living it and truly understand.
As our influence has grown our members have been in conference with Sir Martin Narey, attended adoption related conferences and set up a conference of our own, set up a private group on facebook and interacted with adoptionuk’ s forum and adopterssupportuk.freeforums.net.
We provide peer lead support for parents and do not work directly with young people.
If you would like further information on our group or would like to book a POTATO Champion or give a talk in your area, please email us as firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOIN US. Parent of Adopted Teenager in the UK? Please register as a member by requesting a form via email (email@example.com). We will send a confirmation email and a short form to complete. Then you can join in our meet ups, social groups and choose to play a part in the pressure for positive change and access to personal support our POTATO members have found helpful.
(We comply fully with Data Protection and any information will remain confidential unless there is a serious risk of harm)