WE held adoption celebration days for children and families across the WBAS region who missed out on a court celebration hearing due to covid.

When an Adoption Order is granted, adopters and their children are invited to a celebration hearing in the family court.  Sadly due to the covid pandemic the courts were closed and they are unable to provide the hearings for those who missed out due to the restrictions.

The aim of the of the WBAS celebration days was to create an event to make up for children who missed out on this celebration day. WBAS tried to replicate the court environment and make the event as special as possible, featuring a special video message played to the children from the Family Courts Honour Judge Crowley and District Judge Sue Bennett.

The support we received from all the WBAS local authorities of Bridgend, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot was exceptional, with council’s providing us with use of their Council Chambers and Mayor Committee Rooms. Council Leaders, Heads of Services, Directors, Mayors and Cabinet Members all gave up their precious time to part of our panel on the day – helping us to create a special day for our families.

Lee who attended the NPT event with his family said, “So pleased to have had this opportunity, it was the missing piece of our adoption journey during lockdown and everyone involved really helped to make it a special and memorable day for all of our family.”

Around 10 families attended each celebration day with a lot of emotion on display from proud parents. Many families also brought their extended support networks and families who have been there from the start of the story – this included grandparents, social workers and family friends.  Plans were made for special family meals etc following the celebration event – marking this as a memorable day for families.

The stars of the show were of course the children, a particularly heart-warming part of the day being able to see first-hand these children growing and developing from being placed a few years ago –  into the little characters they are today. The children were presented with a special certificate, little teddy bear and treats to mark the occasion and for memory boxes.

Julie Davies, Swansea Council Head of Child and Family Services said, “It was an absolute honour to be part of this special day for the children and to see how proud and happy they and their parents were.  I felt very privileged to have had the opportunity to meet the families and help create a wonderfully memorable moment for them.”

Victoria Smith NPT Principal Officer – Fostering and Looked after Children said, “It was a privilege to be part of such a lovely day of celebration.  An emotional day that I will always remember”.

In the Bridgend County Borough Council event the panel were joined by the County Brough Mayor Martin Jones to add to the sense of a special occasion. Cue little ones having lots fun with the Mayor’s ‘civic regalia’ and Council Chamber hammer!

Council Leader Huw David said: “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with some of the families who have received help and support from the service, and to learn more about them and their backgrounds. Listening to some of their stories was highly emotional and reinforced how the service can have a positive impact upon the lives of local children and their forever families.”

Whilst Deputy Leader Jane Gebbie said: “While the Hearing Day events normally take place within the Family Courts, this one was specially designed to make sure that children did not have to miss out because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that they could still celebrate and mark the day as a special occasion. I was delighted to meet them and see for myself how the hard work of the courts, the Western Bay Adoption Service and other partners is delivering results and making a significant difference to the lives of local people.”

Kath who attended the Bridgend event said, “We can’t thank Western Bay Adoption enough for the adoption celebration ceremony today. It was wonderful, and so special for us to formally celebrate little one’s adoption with our family.

Leanne who attended the Swansea event said, “We thought it was a lovely end to the process, which allowed us to celebrate with family and friends. Our daughter loved the bear she was given. It was a really nice touch.”

WBAS would like to thank our local authorities and their senior management teams, leaders and councillors for going the extra mile with us on this, and helping us to create magical memories for our families.  These events are part of the community at WBAS and are a snapshot of the bigger picture of the care, empathy and passion that makes up ‘The WBAS Way’.





Let’s Talk Adoption with Adoption Author Rosemary Lucas!First Fathers Day!