An article examined post-placement support practices and parents' experiences following legislative changes that sought to place inter-country adoption on an equal footing with domestic adoption. It said that a range of continuing issues contributed to the persistence of an unequal service provision.
Source: Katie Hoffman, 'Beyond a two-tier service? Agency and parent experiences, expectations, and perspectives of support in intercountry adoption in the United Kingdom', Adoption Quarterly, Volume 17 Issue 3
An article examined the adoption of children with disabilities within the United Kingdom, to develop a framework to provide a theoretically informed and multi-dimensional approach to its understanding. The article said that the adoption outcomes for this group of children could only be understood within wider social processes, which could affect individual adoptions as well as the practice of adoption more generally, with implications for research and practice.
Source: Sarah Bunt, 'A framework for the analysis of the social processes in the adoption of disabled children', Journal of Social Work, Volume 14 Number 5
An article examined the reflections of a group of adoptive parents about their experience of becoming adopters, the impact of delays in the process, experiences of the preparation and assessment period, and how their views changed over time regarding the sorts of children they felt they could adopt.
Source: Cherilyn Dance and Elaine Farmer, 'Changing lives and changing minds: the experiences of adoptive parents from application to approval', Adoption & Fostering, Volume 38 Number 2
A new book examined the treatment of race in transnational and transracial adoption.
Source: Vilna Bashi Treitler (ed.), Race in Transnational and Transracial Adoption, Palgrave Macmillan
The government announced family policy measures, including: for an expansion of the Troubled Families programme; for a 19 million adoption support fund for local councils; for additional leave rights for adoptive parents, prior to adoption; for the Home Office to look into the recording of mothers' names on birth certificates; for the piloting of age rating of online music videos; and for a family test to be included in impact assessments on all government policies from autumn 2014.
Source: Speech by David Cameron MP (Prime Minister), 18 August 2014
Links: Speech | 4Children press release | 4Children press release | Children England press release | Contact a Family press release | Gingerbread press release | BBC report | Guardian report | Inside Housing report | Telegraph report
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to extend access to intermediary services (support to facilitate contact between adopted people and their birth relatives) to the children and grandchildren of adoptees, and to members of the adopted person's wider family, such as the spouses of their descendants. Under the proposals (which would apply to adults adopted in Wales before 30 December 2005), adopted people would be able to register a veto to prevent an intermediary agency from making contact or to say that they only wanted to be contacted in certain circumstances. The consultation would close on 27 October 2014.
Source: Extending Access to Intermediary Services for Descendants and Relatives of Adopted People, WG22541, Welsh Government
A new book examined people's experiences of post-adoption contact between adopted children and their birth families, its impact on children and adults, and how the need for contact changed over time, based on findings from a longitudinal study.
Source: Elsbeth Neil, Mary Beek, and Emma Ward, A Longitudinal Study of Adopted Young People and their Adoptive Parents and Birth Relatives, British Association for Adoption and Fostering
A report examined the rate of, and reasons for, adoption disruption after an adoption order had been granted for children and young people in Wales. It said that over an 11 year follow-up period, the Welsh national adoption disruption rate was 2.6 per cent, which indicated that about 3 in 100 adoptions would disrupt over an 11 year period. This figure was very similar to the statistics in England. The report made recommendations for better recording of a variety of related data.
Source: Dinithi Wijedasa and Julie Selwyn, Beyond the Adoption Order: An investigation of adoption disruption in Wales, Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies (University of Bristol)
A study examined how often and why adoptions were disrupted after an adoption order had been made. Noting caution about the derivation of the figure, the final report said that the rate of disruption in England was calculated at 3.2 per cent, and that this was similar to that in Wales, but varied by local authority area. It said that, although this figure appeared low, the study had found that adoptive parents faced a range of challenges in supporting their children. There were therefore much higher levels of support need than the overall 'failure' rate would at first suggest, and these needs sometimes arose much later on after adoption. The report made a wide range of recommendations for additional support, practice improvements, and further research.
Source: Julie Selwyn, Dinithi Wijedasa, and Sarah Meakings, Beyond the Adoption Order: Challenges, interventions and adoption disruption, Research Report RR336, Department for Education
An article examined the abuse and neglect of children by adoptive family members, and said that it was more common, historically, than previously acknowledged. It outlined barriers to effective support for abused adopted adults, discussed their support needs, and made recommendations regarding the development of support services.
Source: Perlita Harris, 'Meeting the adoption support needs of adopted adults who have been abused in their adoptive family: lessons from historical placements', Adoption & Fostering, Volume 38 Number 1
The Children and Families Act 2014 was given Royal assent. The Act provided for (among other things): reform of the adoption system; the introduction of greater flexibility in parental leave arrangements; reform of the system of special educational needs; strengthening the role of the children's rights watchdog; reduction in delays in the family justice system; and reduction in regulation of the childcare sector.
Source: Children and Families Act 2014, Department for Education, TSO
An article examined plans by the coalition government for adoption reform, including 'removing barriers' to transracial adoption. The government had blamed social workers 'looking for 'perfect ethnic matches' for denying black and minority-ethnic children placements with 'loving and stable families': but it had failed to take into account the complex ways in which race and ethnicity mattered within adoption. It said their wish to de-racialize transracial adoption fitted with wider concerns about race mixing, families, and national belonging: although they attempted to minimize the importance of race and ethnicity, they continued to place race at the heart of these debates.
Source: Suki Ali, 'Multicultural families: deracializing transracial adoption', Critical Social Policy, Volume 34 Issue 1
The government began consultation on proposals to amend the statutory guidance and regulations on: fostering for adoption; consideration of ethnicity when matching children with prospective adopters; placing siblings with an adoptive family; information to be provided about adoption support; the Adoption and Children Act register; and contact in respect of children in care and adopted children. The consultation also asked for views on the revision to the adoption national minimum standards. The consultation would close on 11 April 2014.
Source: Adoption: Getting it right, making it work, Department for Education