Rising number of parents adopt children who had a ‘tough start’

New research from Adoption UK questioned 3,500 people as to what motivated them to adopt. Although more than half of parents (58 per cent) adopted a child due to fertility issues, for 42 per cent of parents, infertility was not the primary factor.

The charity’s experts discovered that an increasing number of parents were motivated to adopt “a child who has had a tough start”. The data found that around three-quarters of all children adopted from care in the UK were removed from their birth parents due to abuse or neglect.

Director of public affairs at Adoption UK, Alison Woodhead, found that parents’ willingness to take on a child with a traumatic past is taken “far more seriously than their age, marital status or sexual preference”.

According to other statistics, nearly a quarter of parents (24 per cent) identified that “adoption was my first choice for starting a family”, while 17 per cent said their motivating factor was that they had a connection to adoption in their family.

While it a dated misconception that the only reason behind adoption is infertility, the stereotypical family unit of a ‘middle-age, middle-class, married couple’ has also been diversifying. Recent figures have found that single-parent adoptions reached a record high in the UK last year at 962; increasing from 904 in 2017 and 876 in 2012.

Ms Woodhead, who became a single-parent adopter back in 2011, concluded:

“When I adopted it was still not that common for or people to talk about a single adoption like it was a completely normal thing to do, and now it’s changed radically – there’s no barrier.”

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