A look at disruption and other statistics (or – time to eat my words)

Haha! No sooner than I posted yesterday’s post, I was told that there ARE some statistics on pre-adoption order disruption – they’re just buried in massive OFSTED reports chock full of a lot of adoption statistics which I will also post about. Thanks Andy Leary-May (@learymay)!

So, without further ado:

Out of the 4,767 children placed for adoption in the year 2012-2013, 148 children’s adoption placements disrupted, in 118 adoptive families

This is a pre-adoption order disruption rate of 3%

I was pleasantly surprised to see it was that low, because I thought it was a bit higher than that. However I feel sad seeing the numbers in black and white as well. I’m thinking of those 118 families and 148 children and what they’ve been through. I wonder if some of those children will be able to find a new family who can appreciate all they’ve been through and in which the children will thrive? I hope so. I am Rhea’s second adoptive mum after all

Now, instead of just leaving that at that, can some questions be asked? Like, what caused those disruptions and what can be done in the future to prevent them from happening?

Some other interesting statistics in the document –

  • 405 foster families were approved to adopt their foster children, which is a massive 45% increase on the last year. Foster carers adopting their foster children remains pretty uncommon (remembering that there were over 4000 children adopted in 2012-2013 and there are tens of thousands of children in foster homes), it’s great that for those children, they won’t have to go through the trauma of another move
  • As of 31st March 2013, there were 10,177 children in care who had an adoption plan. 46% of these children were available for adoption but hadn’t been matched with parents, compared to 34% who were already living with their new parents, 3% who were matched but not placed yet, and 17% were still waiting for a placement order (the legal order which allows a child to be placed in an adoptive home)
  • There were over 27,080 initial inquiries into adoption in that year, but only 5,173 of those turned into adoption applications, so less than 1 in 5. I would like to know exactly why but can only offer some info from my LA (or at least what a social worker told me), which is that some of the inquiries they get every year are clearly going nowhere, because people only want newborns/young babies, or are too young, or have very young birth children, and sometimes even think that you can get paid to adopt! Aside from that, a lot of people don’t intend to adopt yet, but just want some of their questions answered. However, there must be lots of other reasons and I would love to know some percentages of how many people only want questions answered, how many poeple are rejected there and then, and how many just never get in touch again after getting some answers because they decide adoption isn’t for them.
  • There were 135 international adoptions in 2012-2013. Of these, 68% of the adoptees were female (compared to an almost 50/50 split for UK domestic adoptions), and an entire quarter of them were under 1 year old. The 3 top countries to adopt from were Russia (30 adoptions), China (20 adoptions) and Pakistan (19 adoptions). The document didn’t say what other countries people went to, but I assume African and European countries make up a lot of the other adoptions. Russia was also the biggest ‘sending country’ last year.

All very interesting, and there were a lot more interesting stats in there. If you’d like to have a quick skim through/read for yourself, go here and download the word document

As embarassing as it is having to eat my words, I really am pleased that I have to!

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8 thoughts on “A look at disruption and other statistics (or – time to eat my words)

  1. I think the analysis of the data is essential to improving current adoption practice and procedures.
    Martin Narey produced a report on adoption for the Times in 2011. I lent my copy to a friend who then denied it but from memory I am sure that there was a section that broke down disruptions into age ranges along with a raft of other data. Though now out of date it would perhaps answer some of your questions. I’ve searched online an have struggled to find it.

    • Wow! Thank you so much for finding that. I totally agree with you, just knowing the numbers isn’t enough, they need to be analysed and ideally we need things like personal stories/experiences as well, to work out how to lower disruption even further. I’m off to have a read :)

  2. I was rather pleasantly surprised by the disruption rate too. Oddly, I thought it was a lot higher.
    Still, more does need to be done to support new families and help adoptions to be successful. The earlier children can be settled into permanent homes the better their lives will be.

  3. Thinking about it, there is no acknowledgement of the levels of difficulty that families face. We adopted two of our children after fostering them, I then had to leave work to ensure that the family didn’t fall apart. This kind of information isn’t caught in the stats though I am in contact with a significant number of families that face ongoing struggles with almost laughable levels of support.
    My wife met Mr Narey and came away with some very interesting opinions. Discretion ensures that I don’t share them publicly.

  4. I’m struck by the high number of enquiries compared to people actually progressing on to adoption. I’d also be keen to know what the breakdown is in the stats. People I know who have pulled out have generally done so because they’ve felt unable to cope with the negativity (or is that reality?) from the Social Workers.

    Sorry I’ve been slow to find your blog. I look forward to reading more.

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