Breaking the Cycle (2017)

An evaluation of After Adoption’s programme, delivered in the Midlands, that supports women who had at least one child adopted. Coram was commissioned to explore the effectiveness of the programme which offers one to one and group sessions focused on building women’s self-esteem and confidence. The evaluation used depth interviews and focus groups with the birth mothers.


Breaking the Cycle is a programme for birth mothers delivered in the Midlands by the independent adoption agency, After Adoption. Breaking the Cycle aims to provide intensive support to birth mothers, who have lost at least one child to adoption, in order to “break the cycle” of repeated adoptions. Breaking the Cycle recruits birth mothers who demonstrate clear motivation, commitment and willingness to engage in the programme, which focuses on reflection and change. Participation is voluntary – birth mothers choose to take part in the programme. At the time of this report, Breaking the Cycle was funded by Esmée Fairbairn. Coram, the UK children’s charity, was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme. This final report presents an exploration of the two year Breaking the Cycle programme which ran from September 2014 to August 2016.