This research will provide evidence that will contribute to the promotion of successful adoption in Wales, a policy priority.
Research questions include: 1) What individual, family-based and structural factors are associated with early placement success? 2) What support needs do families have and how are they met in the first six months of a placement? 3) How does pre-adoption decision-making by local authorities impact on early placement success?
We plan to recruit 125 families from across Wales who have recently had a child placed for adoption. This represents approximately 50% of placements for a given year and would make the study one of the largest detailed studies of adoption conducted in the UK. Assessments will occur between 8-12 months after the matching decision has been taken. We will use questionnaires and a semi- structured interview. The participants will constitute a cohort who could be followed up over time.
Indicators of success will include, but not be limited to, continuation of the placement, whether parents’ intend or have applied for an adoption order and family functioning. Our focus on the first year of a placement will illuminate families’ support needs during this important transition.