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Research indicates adopted children are facing a mental health emergency

A new study by Adoption UK suggests system failings are causing a mental health crisis for adopted children.

The Charity’s Adoption Barometer report for 2021 reveals that two-thirds (64%) of adopted people aged 16+ have sought help with their mental health, and the numbers are rising. Almost half (46%) of adopted people aged 16-25 were involved with mental health services in 2020, compared to the national figure of 17% yet most say they have been unable to access the support they need.   

Most adopted young people suffered abuse, neglect or violence in their early years, with lasting impacts on relationships, learning and health, leaving their adoptive families to pick up the pieces when professional support is not provided.  

Adoption UK’s CEO Sue Armstrong Brown said: “For the third year running, 71% of Barometer respondents said they face a continual struggle for support. All too often these families are being failed by a system which invests heavily in the placement of children for adoption, then fades into the background, often with terrible consequences for the mental health of the children and their adoptive families.”

Adoption UK is setting out a six-point plan to improve the life chances of adopted young people. It includes multi-disciplinary assessments and support plans for every child placed for adoption and the extension of adoption services to at least age 26.

Read more here.