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Research Project - Successful Adoption Outcomes

Press and PR July 2, 2020 18:43

This request has been checked and verified by Adoption UK


I am a student at The University of Birmingham and I am undertaking a research project that explores the meaning of home during childhood for adult adoptees who were adopted during childhood – and how this meaning, through your childhood experience, has contributed to your success in adulthood.

My research aims to understand the different childhood journeys within the home environment, of adopted adults. I am looking for black and multi-heritage female participants between the ages of 25 and 45 years old who experienced early childhood trauma and are now successful adults in relation to “normal” definitions of success - health, wellbeing, careers and relationships, to take part in this project.

Your participation will provide valuable insight into the significance of the home environment and its influences and contributions to later adult life success. Within this research, “success” is defined as economic wellbeing (income at or above £28,400) and personal wellbeing (life satisfaction, happiness, worthwhileness).

There is an abundance of literature on the well-researched association between traumatic childhood experiences, the impact on neurological development (e.g. emotional resilience, cognitive processing) and poor outcomes for adopted children, but very little literature on adopted children who, despite their adverse histories and childhood challenges, have achieved positive outcomes.

This is an opportunity for me to understand how your experiences have shaped your life journey to success. We each have different perceptions of what home means to us in childhood. We also have personal narratives, perhaps through our perspectives of home, on how experiences in the home may have contributed to eventual success in adulthood.

Participation in this project will help researchers to understand, learn and promote positive outcomes awareness from your experiences and perspectives. I would be interested in hearing your experiences in areas such as:

What were your experiences before adoption?

What did the word “home” mean to you, post adoption?

How did your home environment shape your understanding of self and identity?

What were the influences within the home which contributed to the path to your success?

If you wish to take part in this research, I will send you a consent form which outlines the objectives of the project and how to participate.

I would be grateful if you could respond by Monday July 6th 2020.

In the meantime, thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Yewande Reece

Email: [email protected]

Supervising Lecturer: Colette Soan Email: [email protected]

Edited 17/02/2021
July 9, 2020 09:24

I'm sure there are somewhere widely accepted definitions of success, but even outside the world of adoption, the definition of economic wellbeing as earning at least £28,400 seems to me to be a very narrow definition which does not take into account circumstances. A graduate just starting out would rarely achieve that salary. When my child was placed I chose to cut down my hours which meant I was earning less than that. Whilst I realise that this is only one of the indicators of "success", it will exclude many people who are gainfully employed. Being employed in a low wage job that you enjoy is, to me, much more an indicator of success that being highly paid in a job that is stressful and unrewarding. Therefore, this study seems to have parameters that very narrow and may lead to the belief that it is difficult to achieve success or "normality" for those who have suffered childhood trauma. My nephew (not adopted, no childhood trauma) has learning difficulties and as a teenage it was difficult to see him gaining employment. Now in his 20s, he is a much valued heath care worker holding down a full time, albeit low paid, job in a busy hospital. He has a partner, they are saving to afford their own accommodation and looking to get married and start a family. But not successful according to your definition.

Edited 17/02/2021
Safia July 9, 2020 11:35

I have been mulling this over a lot - how to respond. When I saw the definition of success it immediately ruled my family out - and yet I consider them to be doing well though it is still a work in progress as it is for most people, adopted or not. It doesn’t seem to take account of the starting point for many adopted children - who’s birth parents may well have learning difficulties or mental health problems themselves - let alone the effects of the trauma they have experienced of one sort or another (often multiple). Success in my view is the difference made by adoption - which is of course very hard to measure. When I was a teacher we used the concept of “value added” (schools probably still do but I can’t say as I’m not involved) - so measuring a child’s levels on entry and on leaving and the difference between what they were expected to achieve and what they actually did achieve. Again though this is still a narrow definition of success as it’s not looking at their emotional well-being or social adjustment. I think there are maybe one or two adoptive parents using the boards (or who used to) who were adopted themselves who may come into this category but I can’t think of any young people I’m aware of myself. Sadly as it’s an interesting study

Edited 17/02/2021


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