Anna*, is a birth parent whose son was adopted
Anna says agreeing to having her son looked after by someone else was the hardest decision of her life.
At the time, she was unable to look after her son and provide him with the stable home he needed. Like her mother had also suffered through, Anna was in an abusive relationship which was dramatically affecting her mental health and ability to look after herself and her family. Amid this, Anna knew social services would be able to ensure her son had a safe and stable home and prevent him from any future danger or harm.
Though he left home six years ago, Anna thinks of her son each day. Every part of Anna’s home reminds her of him – from smells, small marks on wall, to remaining toys found behind the sofa.
To Anna, she will always be her son’s mum, but adoption has broken a generational cycle of difficult family life. It’s given him a life she couldn’t have given. She knows he now has a loving, warm, and caring home with emotional support and structure. After meeting with the adoptive father at his request, Anna knows her son is doing well, has memories of her, and will grow up knowing who she is and about his heritage and cultural identity.
While she doesn’t stay in regular contact with the adoptive family or her son, Anna hopes that one day her son will want to meet with her. She dreams of meeting him as an adult, hearing about his successful and happy life, and having the opportunity to tell him how much she loves him and to build a relationship.
After finding peer support invaluable to coping with her own experience, Anna is now a peer mentor that supports other women going through similar situations with social services. Through this work, she encourages women to talk about their experiences in a safe environment and helps them to gain their lives back.
*Names have been changed to protect identities