The Importance of Heritage and Identity with Ashley John Baptise and Jamal

In episode 16 of the You Can Adopt podcast, host Ashley John-Baptiste, who is a BBC presenter, talks to Jamal, who was adopted at the age of three. They share memories of their lives as children growing up – for Ashley in the care system, and for Jamal being transracially adopted by his two mums. They discuss their heritage, belonging, and how they found their identities through the people around them, experiences they went through and contact with their birth families.

This National Adoption Week, we are exploring adopted people’s memories and relationships from before, during, and after they were adopted, and how these make them who they are today. During the week, the campaign will challenge perceptions of modern adoption and show how important it can be for adopted people to be able to feel connected to their past – often through physical keepsakes such as letters, photographs, or childhood toys. The You Can Adopt campaign also acknowledges that identity, especially for adopted people, can be a life-long journey and is always evolving. While not all adopted people will have mementos from their early life or the opportunity to have contact with people from their life before they were adopted, modern adoption encourages access to a range of quality information. Meanwhile many adopters today make it a priority to help their children to understand and develop their identity.

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