Finn* was adopted when he was three years old along with his older brother. Finn is now 16 and his brother is 20, and they live with their parents and their black labrador. They also have a younger brother who was adopted separately and lives elsewhere.
Finn’s mum Nicki* first heard about PACT’s Adoptee Voices group a few years ago through an email from PACT and suggested it to Finn. Finn began attending the sessions during the pandemic, when they were held online.
When the in-person sessions resumed, the first activity Finn attended was rock climbing. Nicki said that being able to get together in person really improved their experience of the group. “When they all met face to face I think that made it, because they could see each other in person and it was a chance for us to see the organisers as well. So I think as soon as they all met up, I think that was when it all really clicked.”
Before Finn joined the group, he didn’t know many people his age who were adopted. Nicki thought the group would be a good way for Finn to meet up with other adopted young people in a safe space. She said: “I think then they can talk about their different experiences and what they’re going through. I think it’s a really good thing to be able to talk to other children who are going through the same thing.”
Since joining the group, Finn has attended several activity sessions including a climbing wall, dragon boating, kayaking and a pizza night. He said the meetups are fun and his favourite activities so far have been the two rock climbing sessions and the kayaking activity where they all jumped off the pontoon at the end. He said: “We finished and just started dive bombing ourselves into the water just for the fun of it!”
Finn has made friends with another young person through the Adoptee Voices sessions and keeps in touch with them outside of the group, messaging regularly and playing games online. Nicki said: “I think, with all adopted children, they struggle with friendship groups and it’s really nice for them both to be able to talk online.”
As a parent, Nicki says she has enjoyed going along to meet and chat to other parents while their children go off to do the activity. She only knows one other couple who have adopted so it’s a good way to meet other adoptive parents in a relaxed setting. “It’s always nice to chat to other people… I do enjoy talking to other parents and just seeing what they’re doing.”
Finn says overall he enjoys the sessions and would recommend them to other young people. “The meetups are quite fun… It’s quite entertaining just to go out and do these activities. Some of the issues that are talked about are good.” He plans to continue with the sessions for as long as he is able to.
Nicki says she would definitely recommend the group to other PACT parents. “They put on really good activities and they’re free as well! And they always pitch the activities just right so it’s things that the young people are interested in doing. They make sure they get a lot of feedback after each one, and they use their sessions online to talk about what they might do next so they involve all the young people in what activities they want to do next. I think that’s a really good thing. And it’s definitely a good way to meet other adopted children and young people and you can forge friendships through that which is what Finn has done, so I’m really happy about that.”
*Names changed in line with confidentiality
About Adoptee Voices
PACT’s Adoptee Voices group was created to support adopted teenagers and young people. It provides a fun, safe space for young people to meet others who were adopted, spend time together and share their opinions, feelings and experiences.
Sessions take place every two months through a mixture of online and in-person events. They are led by a PACT social worker and the young people are regularly consulted on how they would like the group to operate and which activities they want to do.
Parents can also attend the in-person sessions and spend time together while their children take part in the activity. All sessions are provided to PACT families free of charge. Find out more here.