Findings from a longitudinal study of early placements (2018)

This report presents the messages for policy and practice that were derived from the 2017/18 longitudinal research with parents who adopted their children through Coram’s concurrency programme.

The research builds upon previous work conducted by Coram’s Impact and Evaluation team in 2011 and represents the first ever sample to be followed through concurrent planning over such a long period. Of the 12 adopters that participated in this latest wave of research, the majority (10) were also involved in the 2011 research facilitating a discussion of how their lives have evolved overtime. Additionally, for the first time, two young people shared their experiences of concurrency through qualitative interviews.

Key findings and reflections

  1. Every parent within the research sample reported that they loved their adopted children and that they had no regrets about their adoption.
  2. None of the families who responded had experienced post-placement disruptions (no children had been returned to care).
  3. Despite a proportion of the families experiencing significant challenges in raising their children, adopters demonstrated impressive resilience and a deep commitment to their children reminiscent of their commitment as expressed in the original 2011 study. Many spoke of the joy that their children had brought to their lives and reflected on how their family now felt complete. This finding was in line with that of the Adoption UK 2017 survey of almost 2,800 adopters in which the most common characterisation of their child’s adoption was “challenging but stable” and that no adopters regretted the adoption.