As an experienced social worker with a personal connection to adoption, it was perhaps inevitable that Ian Burdett would choose to practice in this area.

Ian is a Senior Practitioner within the council’s Adoption and Kinship Team and, along with other longstanding members of the team, provides support to people who are interested in adoption at every stage of their journey.

“I have had a personal family connection with adoption and so have been interested in this area of work for around 20 years, explains Ian. “I’ve been a part of the Adoption Team since 2012. We aim to recruit, prepare and train prospective adopters for any local children who have a plan for adoption. We then continue to support the family for as long as they need it. We have a settled and experienced team, so there is little need for families to move from one social worker to another, and they can build up a positive long-term relationship with their worker,” he says.

Ongoing support

People choose to adopt for a variety of reasons – you must be over 21 years of age and can be single, married, in a civil partnership or living together in a long-term relationship. Ian and the Adoption team offer advice and information about all aspects of adoption. This includes assistance to find the right match with a child or sibling group who need a family. Ongoing support, workshops and training throughout the adoption process and beyond is offered including membership of Adoption UK and free access to their training events. Crucially, the team runs a local adopters support group and links with experienced adopters who can offer advice and ‘buddying’. Ian believes this local support network hugely beneficial. 

“Easily accessible local peer support can be massively helpful for adoptive families. Adopters also benefit from being supported by the same team from the point of showing an initial interest in adoption, all the way through to the adoption order being granted. They can then receive support from the same team for as long as they need it,” he explains.

Adoption Week Scotland event

As part of Adoption Week Scotland, there are a number of opportunities for current and potential adopters locally. The team has arranged a special information evening for anyone interested in finding out more about adoption which will be held at the Brunton Hall on 21 November. The informal evening will give potential adopters the chance to find out more about adoption, meet the team and experiences local adopters. There is also a celebratory gathering in Portobello for adoptive families and an evening learning event for adoptive parents. All of the opportunities are free and part of a regular programme of support.

“Being professionally involved in adoption is very rewarding, helping people to start or grow their family and watching as they bond and move through life together,” explains Ian. “I hope that Scotland’s Adoption Week gives people the chance to have their own adoption discussions and get in touch with us if it’s something they’re interested in.”

Further information

Come along to the Brunton Hall on 21 November (6.30pm-9.30pm) to find out more about starting your own adoption journey or contact the team on 01620 827 643. 

Learn more about adopting in East Lothian

Published: Tuesday, 21st November 2023