Adoptions are 10 times more likely to break down during teenage years than when children are under the age of four, a government-funded study has found.
The research by the University of Bristol examined the 37,335 children adopted between April 2000 and March 2011.
It found that 565 had been ‘disrupted’ after the adoption order was made and that teenagers were 10 times more likely to experience an adoption breakdown than young children.
Nearly two-thirds of break downs took place during adopted children’s teenage years.
The child’s age was found to be the key factor in break downs with the child’s gender and ethnicity made no difference to the likelihood of adoption disruption.
Adoption UK chief executive Hugh Thornbery said the figures were reflective of how adoption support services were focused on the first years of a child’s adoption and the lack of support during adolescence.
“Adoption is a journey and it is crucial that families receive the support they need if there are challenges along the way,” he said.
“Many adopted children have experienced abuse and neglect and it is vital that support is available for their entire childhood and beyond, not just in the early years of an adoption placement.”