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Research reveals public misconceptions about children adopted from care

CoramBAAF responds to research

New research undertaken by YouGov for 29 independent adoption agencies in England has revealed that people significantly underestimate the primary reasons why adoption is decided on as the best placement option for a child.
Neglect and abuse account for 70% of cases where adoption is decided on as the best option for a child, but of those 2,105 people in the UK surveyed by YouGov, over three in five (61%) underestimated the significance of these factors.

The research, which was carried out to coincide with the first ever Big Adoption Day run by independent adoption agencies in England, also showed that most people (24%) surveyed underestimated the number of children adopted last year, putting the figure at 2,500 children rather than at the actual 5,000.

John Simmonds OBE, CoramBAAF's Director of Policy, Research and Development, commented:

"5,330 children were adopted from care in the year to March 2015 – a relatively small number when compared to the total of 31,100 children who left care.  But for those children and their adopters this will have been a profound life-changing decision made by local authorities, the courts and adoption agencies. And we know that overall the outcomes for these children are very good in creating their much needed 'family for life'.

"The survey indicates that the general public still underestimate the numbers and the circumstances of these children and the reasons why they are adopted – mostly serious abuse and neglect.  Where this discourages potential adopters from coming forward to explore what adoption might have to offer them and any child they might go on to adopt, this is concerning.  While the numbers of children do change from year to year, it is essential that where adoption is the plan, they are placed with a minimum of delay and with loving, committed and child-centred people.  There could be no stronger message to be considered on the Big Adoption Day."

For more details of the research carried out by YouGov, click here. To find out more about Big Adoption Day events, click here.