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Post Adoption Workshops: Young People


The Different Parts of Me

A Barnardos Post Adoption Service workshop for young adopted teenagers (13-15 Years old)

Content of workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to bring young teens together in a safe, fun and supportive setting to look at how adoption fits in to all the other parts of themselves. Video, art and play will be used to keep the participants relaxed and engaged.

Teenage years are an interesting time for young people and for their parents and they can be additionally interesting and sometimes challenging for adopted young people. The job of the teenager is to work towards their own identity- and that can be hard to do when you don’t know too much about your beginnings. Many parents are concerned that their young teens find it hard to express themselves about what adoption means to them. It can be very helpful for young people to understand that others can have the same feelings as they do and this workshop can be a springboard for more discussion with parents.

We will be aiming to
  • Boost self-esteem by understanding how many families are made through adoption
  • Explore some interesting facts about the teenagers’ birth countries-including Ireland
  • Give opportunities to name some common feelings that many young people might have about adoption
  • Look at some of the questions they might have about themselves
  • Give ideas for managing questions others might ask the young person about adoption
  • Assist with identity building by mapping out their “parts”- their interests, talents and help them explore which of these might have come from birth family and which from forever family.

Let’s think about Adoption

A Barnardos interactive workshop for adopted children (8-11 years old)

Many parents say that their children can be reluctant to talk about adoption. We have found that a safe group setting with other adopted children can help open up discussions that are carried on later with parents.

This two-three hour workshop is open to groups of no more than ten adopted children aged between 8-11 years old. Parents can take part in some of the workshop together with the children.

It aims to be a fun, interesting and supportive experience for the children and parents attending.

The core purpose is to give adopted children an opportunity to consider how they might confidently answer questions they might be asked about adoption or ethnicity outside the home.

The workshop also assists children in appreciating all they know about adoption and to explore gently some feelings they might have. They are helped to think about the words children might use in talking about being adopted. We also look with the child and parent together, at the ways they are like each other and characteristics the child might have inherited from a birth parent. The purpose of this is to assist the child in openly thinking about all the different aspects of themselves and strengthening self-esteem. We draw from the US “Wise Up” programme for some of the content of the workshop and use Theraplay games to keep the children engaged and relaxed. An explanatory handout is available for parents attending.

“Let’s Think About Adoption” is run several times through the year.


Please contact us for further information.

Dublin: (01)8134100 | Cork: (021)2038005 | Galway (091) 454489

Email:  [email protected]

Post Adoption Helpline:  (01) 454 63 88, Tues & Thurs, 10am - 1pm

Barnardos Post Adoption Service is supported by the Health Services Executive and through donations from people who use the service.