Barriers to adoption research

PACT Research: Barriers to Adoption 2012

PACT has published a report Barriers to Adoption 2012 with detailed findings from research carried out by Rachel Harding on the Vodafone World of Difference programme.

Click here to download the Executive Summary.

The top four barriers cited by those surveyed, who either permanently or temporarily decided not to apply to be assessed for adoption after making initial enquiries or gathering information, were: current lifestyle incompatible with adoption (32%), the adoption process and timings (31%), wanting birth children (25%) and partner or immediate family reluctant (10%).

The research findings included:

  • Over half of respondents didn’t understand the role their social worker played in helping to match them with a child.
  • One in three prospective adopters in couples cited the reluctance of one partner to proceed with adoption as an issue.
  • 40% of respondents felt they were or would be given little information about an adopted child’s background and expressed anxiety about behavioural issues and future problems such as the potential for the child to have drink and drug problems later in life.

Jan Fishwick, PACT Chief Executive, said: “This research highlights some key concerns of prospective and existing adopters, and we see that myths and fears are prevalent, especially about the process and concerns about a lack of information or care over matching adopters with children.

However the adoption process is becoming more efficient and the timescales, certainly for PACT, are well under two years from initial enquiry to a child moving in with our families.

We also know more about the effects of neglect and abuse on young children, and how to provide attachment-based parenting than ever before. PACT adopters are offered specific training to help them to bond with their children, which reduces the likelihood of disruptive behaviour.

Furthermore PACT’s social workers are highly experienced in carefully matching adopters with their children. They insist on discovering and reviewing all the information available on any child, so that everyone approaches any adoption placement with full knowledge and they carefully discuss and prepare our adopters for the future challenges which are inevitable when a child is adopted.”

PACT is keen to reassure people thinking about adoption that the many perceived barriers to adoption are unfounded and where there are concerns in many cases they can be easily overcome.

Contact for a full copy of the research email or call 0300 456 4800.