We’re pleased to see Scottish Government invest £145,000 in new measures to support women and families affected by historical adoption practices – including counselling.

The support was announced as a fresh appeal was made for women and families affected by historical adoption practices to share their experiences through a dedicated Scottish Government webpage and questionnaire.

The Family Care Team in the Scottish Government would like to hear from anyone affected by outdated adoption processes, their representatives and/or organisations with an interest in historical adoption practices in Scotland.

Their questionnaire, launched in January and open until 20 April, provides the chance to put on record the experiences of people who’ve been affected by historical adoption practices, for them to be heard and acknowledged, telling their story in complete confidentiality.

A new phone line has also been set up in collaboration with our organisational member Health in Mind to support people who are responding to the questionnaire, or who are considering taking part.

This puts calls in direct contact with counsellors registered with either BACP, Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA) or United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) who have knowledge and understanding of trauma and its impacts.

Counselling support

Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, said: "We welcome this important process to learn first-hand from the families who’ve suffered long-term harm from their experiences with historic adoption processes, to better understand the support that’s needed now and in the future for those impacted by their painful experiences.

“We’re also encouraged to hear the Scottish Government is providing a range of suitable support services to help those affected, including counselling and peer support.

“People who experienced this trauma have reported long-lasting impacts on their mental health and wellbeing, and we welcome this important investment to help address this longstanding injustice.”

Children’s Minister Clare Haughey said: “Tragically, in the past there were practices which resulted in some women feeling forced to give up their children. I offer my sincere sympathies to all those whose lives were profoundly changed as a result.

“Our webpage and questionnaire was set up six weeks ago so those affected by this heart-breaking issue could share their views and insights.

“Since then, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters have come forward to give moving accounts of their experiences.

“I do not underestimate how painful this may have been and the courage it must have taken. I’d like to thank all those who have contributed so far.

“We are starting the process of establishing specialist support and peer support groups as we continue to explore next steps.”