‘I was putting her first’: Birth parents' experiences of ‘consent’ to adoption from care in England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adoption is the preferred form of permanence for young children in care in England who are unable to live with their birth family or relatives. However, there have been growing concerns about the use of adoption, particularly in cases where birth parents have not given their consent. Despite concerns, there has been little research into birth parents' views of consent in adoption. This article reports on the experiences of 12 birth mothers and 2 birth fathers whose children were adopted from care in England. Birth parents' views on consent changed throughout the adoption process. They reported that care proceedings could be traumatic, and they did not always understand what was happening. There was a disparity in the quality of legal advice and social work support that birth parents received. The findings raise questions for practice around the level of support birth parents receive during and after care proceedings and highlight the importance of good quality support.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Early online date2 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

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