An online conference which has been put together by the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA), wants to improve post adoption contact for children and their natural parents.

The seminar, “Modernising Contact: Practice Fit for the 21st Century”, wants to develop the way contact for adoption children works in the UK. the page for the event says:

“In recent years post-adoption contact has come under increasing scrutiny and found wanting. All too often not meeting the needs of adopted children, their adoptive families or their birth families.”

“The use of the term `contact’ has itself been critiqued as problematic as merely having `contact’ is not an end so it is thought that the terminology needs to address the point of contact, i.e. relationship development/continuation, family communication and identity building.”

“Letter box arrangements are still the default option for post-adoption contact and yet even these indirect contact arrangements are often poorly supported and managed, and also beg the question; who writes letters any more as a main form of communication in this digital age of messaging and the internet?”

The statement goes on to say, “Keynote speakers will help us set the scene and then you will be contributing your experience and ideas to identify the issues with current practice/policy, suggest possible solutions and help write an agenda for what needs to happen next to influence practice/policy and create real change.”

The event aims to better understand the following:

  •   What are the current issues/problems in regard to direct and indirect contact?              
  •   What are the possible solutions?
  •   What needs to happen next to support change?

Speakers for the event include:

Dr Krish Kandiah, Chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board at Department for Education

Professor Debbie L. Watson, Professor of Child and Family Welfare and Head of the Centre for Children and families Research, University of Bristol

Ms Beverley Barnett Jones MBE, Associate Director Practice and System Impact, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and;

Dr John Simmonds OBE, Director of Policy, Research and Development, CoramBAAF

While the seminar appears to be aimed at adoption “practitioners” and independent professionals, the conference will make absolutely no difference to the lives of adopted children if adoption-experienced children and families don’t attend this event and share their invaluable experience. Yours are the only voices that matter.

So we’ve asked the CVAA if you can attend the event. As there is currently a charge of £49, we will also ask them if they are willing to waive the fee, as you will be offering important knowledge the conference will need.

We urge you to sign up for this event, and if you have any problems with registration do come back to us and we will help.

You can register for the seminar at the bottom of the event’s online page.

Side note: The CVAA, contrary to the organisation’s misleading name, does not advocate for voluntary adoption and a ban on involuntary/ non consensual/ forced adoption. The word voluntary here just means organisations working in the voluntary sector, often referred to in the UK as the third sector, or charitable sector.