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Research focuses on adopted children

March 30, 2016

Adopted children's survey infographic

A new survey of adopted children reveals that the vast majority feel safe and satisfied with their lives, and have an adult in their lives they can trust.

As part of the preparations for Big Adoption Day, a new survey was commissioned by independent adoption agencies throughout England, including St. Francis’ Children’s Society. The survey put the focus on adopted children aged between 11 and 18 years old.

The results revealed that these adopted young people are positive about their future, they feel safe, and that they have an adult they could trust in their lives who sticks by them through life’s ups and downs. In these respects, adopted children are more secure than their peers.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at children’s charity Coram, was commissioned by 29 adoption agencies in England. A total of 95 children and young people were involved in the study which comprised an online survey; focus groups in Leeds, the East Midlands and London; and participation groups in the North East, Merseyside and the North West.

The experiences and views of the group were brought together to create a special animation, which can be seen here:


Findings were assessed against other studies of children’s satisfaction and wellbeing in England including the Good Childhood Report 2013 and the Children’s Commissioner’s Children in Care and Care Leavers State of the Nation Report.

The survey’s key findings were as follows:

  • 100% of adopted children agreed that they had an adult they could trust, who helps stick by then no matter what, compared to 88% who agreed to the same question in the Understanding Society survey 2010/11
  • 97% of adopted children agreed that their adoptive parents notice how they are feeling, compared to 71% of children who were surveyed for the Children’s Commissioner’s Report
  • 93% of adopted children agreed that their adoptive parents showed an interest in what they were doing at school, compared to 75% of children surveyed for the Good Childhood Report
  • When asked how satisfied they were with their life, 75% of adopted children scored medium to high on levels of satisfaction and 88% felt safe
  • 63% of adopted children felt very positive about their future, compared to only 46% of children in care or leaving care who took part in the Children’s Commissioner’s State of the Nation Survey

Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chief Executive at Coram, said: “This survey shows us that adopted children overwhelmingly feel that adoption has successfully provided them with a loving, stable home where they feel safe.

“These children know they have adults they can trust in their lives and parents who are attuned to how they are feeling and show a demonstrable interest in their lives and they are more certain of this nurture than others their age.

“Adoption is a transformational journey for children who have experienced profound adversity and enables them to become secure and confident.”

Some comments from the children and young people who took part in the study include:

“I am happy I have a whole family who make me feel part of it, I’m happy the majority of the time, I have friends at school and feel accepted by everyone who knows I am adopted.”

“A safer environment, a permanent area where I can grow as an individual.”

“I feel loved for and cared for. I can speak to my adoptive parent about most things.”

“I have a Mum and Dad who love me and want the best for me. They look after me and make sure I have food to eat and clean clothes. They take me to my sporting clubs and watch me play.”

“Yes, my experience of adoption is amazing. I love my family to bits and alright some of the time people take fun out of you for being adopted but at the end of the day you were chosen to go live with the people and you are no different to anyone else. You should never see it as a bad thing. Just love life.”

To find out more about adopting through SFCS, please click here.

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