Birth family contact ‘should increase’

Adopted children would like more contact with their birth families,
new research suggests.

Almost all the adopted young people interviewed for the research by
children-in-care charity A National Voice said that twice yearly
visits with important members of their birth family were not

They also said reasons for contact being stopped were often not
explained, while restrictions on which birth family members they
were allowed to contact also resulted in them missing out on
important events, such as birthdays, funerals and weddings.

Half of the young people interviewed said they were angry and
confused about their adoption.

All the young people said that no one over the age of seven should
be adopted without giving informed consent. Confidentiality was
also an issue, with many feeling embarrassed that teachers knew
about their situation.

While some of the young people felt happy in their adopted family,
most said the process was too long and would be improved by having
more meetings with the adoptive family prior to the adoption.

The report, Adoption and Permanence, was commissioned by
the Department of Health and charts the opinions of 14 adopted
young people aged between 13-25. 

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