The support needs and experiences of newly formed adoptive families: findings from the Wales Adoption Study

Sarah Meakings*, Heather Ottaway, Amanda Coffey, Claire Palmer, Julie Doughty, Katherine Shelton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
318 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article reports on findings from the Wales Adoption Study which used a sequential, mixed-method design to explore the early support needs and experiences of newly formed adoptive families. Ninety-six adoptive parents completed a questionnaire four months post-placement and a sub-sample of 40 parents was interviewed in-depth five months thereafter. The main support needs of the families fell within five key domains: promoting children's health and development; strengthening family relationships; fostering children's identity; managing contact with birth parents and significant others; and financial and legal assistance. While the age and developmental stage of the child placed for adoption often influenced the nature of the support required across the various domains, the need for some form of support in every family was universal. Most, however, were not facing insurmountable difficulties. Arguably, many of the support needs identified could have been anticipated as they illustrate the complexities of ‘normal’ adoptive family life. The implications for social work practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-75
Number of pages18
JournalAdoption and Fostering
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Adoption
  • support
  • Wales

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