William Eichler 26 September 2017

Adopted families ‘in crisis’, survey reveals

More than a quarter of adopted families are ‘in crisis’, survey reveals as charity finds many children show signs of ‘aggressive behaviour’.

The charity Adoption UK has conducted a survey into the experiences of families who have gone through the adoption process.

More than a quarter of parents said there were either serious challenges impacting the wider family, or their adoption was at risk of disruption, or it had already been disrupted.

Almost half were finding it ‘challenging but stable’, and just over a quarter said it was ‘fulfilling and stable’.

‘The survey results broadly mirror what we already knew – that many families are experiencing serious challenges,’ said Dr Sue Armstrong Brown, chief executive of Adoption UK.

‘In a utopian world all adoptive parents’ experiences would be ‘fulfilling and stable’ but we’re talking about some of the most vulnerable children in society.’

Carried out in conjunction with the BBC, the survey also revealed the majority of the adoptive parents who responded said they were living with serious and continuing violence from their children, and almost two thirds said their child had displayed aggressive behaviour towards them.

Dr Sue Armstrong Brown said: ‘We’re talking about trauma-fuelled violence from children who will have witnessed the unthinkable in their early lives.

‘Adoption is not a silver-bullet – these children’s problems don’t just disappear overnight.

‘Children who have suffered the trauma of abuse or neglect have experienced the world being an unsafe and dangerous place. The child's violent behaviour reveals extreme distress and a need to feel safe and protected.

‘These children need particular parenting techniques and access to therapy to overcome early childhood trauma, and they may reject any attempts at parental affection or management of their behaviour.’

Around a third of adoptive parents also said they believed they did not receive ’full and correct’ information about their children during the adoption process, but the overwhelming majority of respondents said they were glad that had adopted.

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