Tiegan aged 19, was adopted aged 4.
With her mum in prison when she was born Tiegan lived with her for five months to then go into the care of her dad until she was two. Following concerns around his ability to provide a safe and stable home, Tiegan was then taken into emergency protection and was fostered when she was two and a half years old.
After living with a mum and daughter for a couple of years, Tiegan was adopted age 4 by her two mums. Though Tiegan found the shift from foster care to adoption tough at the beginning, she soon settled in began comfortably calling her adoptive parents Mum just a few weeks later.
With all this happening before she was four years old, Tiegan doesn’t remember much or recall the situation negatively. Instead, reflecting on her childhood, Tiegan has a lot of empathy for her birth parents this has been helped by those around her not focusing on the negatives of the story either. Showing both sides and then leaving her to view it as felt right. Having met both her birth mother and father, she knows they are good people that just went down the wrong route in life however have since changed this route for the better.
After initial letterbox contact with her grandparents and her mum, where she received letters and pictures, Tiegan has now met much of her family. She also stayed in touch with her foster family too. She says it is wonderful to not have a blank space when it comes to knowing her non adoptive family –many of the missing pieces she had growing up are now found and complete even though some are still to be found.
As an adult that has met most of her birth family, Tiegan is passionate about adopted people having the opportunity to have contact with their family if they want to. She views it as essential to someone’s identity and believes, if they want to, adopted people should have access to their history.
Throughout her life, Tiegan has accessed plenty of support for adopted people. She has been helped through workers, therapy, and local adoption groups where peer support has been key for her. She says being able to speak to other people that were adopted is invaluable as they can truly understand what it means to be adopted sometimes without even saying anything and speak openly about their experiences.