‘It’s my past, present and future’: Adopted mum on why she adopted two children of her own

191023 - ADOPTION - ITV News Central - Ellen Knight
Isabelle and her son Nathaniel are both adopted. Credit: You Can Adopt

A woman who was adopted as a baby and has gone on to adopt two children of her own is urging others to consider adoption - her son says it "provides hope of a better path".

Isabelle Coad was adopted from Sri Lanka in the 1980s when she was six months old and she was brought to live in Loughborough in Leicestershire

She has since gone on to adopt two children of her own.

To celebrate National Adoption Week they, along with other adopted people, have united to share their stories as part of a new photo series and a short film, showing how adoption has changed over the years.

Isabelle and her children say they took part in the campaign to encourage more people to consider adopting a child.

"It used to be a kind of a taboo subject," she says, adding: "Maybe you knew you were adopted but nobody really went into detail and there was an expectation that you would be grateful that you were adopted.

"It's very natural for your mind to wander, growing up thinking that I wasn't wanted and that I wasn't loved. The biggest change has to be the openness and the honesty that there is around adoption."

Back home in Loughborough she told ITV News Central how her adoption came about.

"My birth mother was young, she was 16, and she, obviously because of her age just wasn't old enough, and her parents encouraged and pressured her to give me up for adoption."

Isabelle and another little girl were adopted by a couple living in the UK who already had two boys of their own.

She says her childhood was a happy one and she wanted to recreate that kind of environment for another child.

Isabelle says she wanted to create a similarly happy childhood to her own.

"I always knew growing up that I wanted to adopt, I was just envisioning it as perhaps a married person a little bit older than I was, so I wasn't expecting to be single and quite as young as I was but [laughs]!"

She's met her birth mother once via video call and is keen to be as open as possible with her own children about their adoption.

Isabelle's son Nathaniel Coad says he's "definitely proud to be adopted," and says that he often speaks about the fact he is adopted with his mum, friends and family.

He continued: "We have open, deep discussions about what the process was like, how it feels to be adopted, the feelings and emotions associated with it, so yeah."

"Coming from Africa to the UK, you hold that African identity but then you also hold - not a different, but a new identity in the UK and with your new family."

There's been a 23% decrease in the number of children being adopted over the last five years, according to the organisation You Can Adopt.

Isabelle says it was their positive experiences that made her and her children want to get involved in this year's campaign to recruit more adopters.

"I've been able to achieve so much because of my mum, my mum's always been there to talk to," Nathaniel says; "Adoption provides hope of a better path, I think the word that comes to mind is transformational."

Isabelle adds: "It's my past, it's my present, it's my future. So adoption is everything for me, yeah, it's my life."

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