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-  2018 

Meeting my child for the first time: adoptive parents’ experiences of the period of adoption transition

DOI: 10.1177/0308575917747814

Keywords: Adoption,transition,introductions,foster carer,contact,attachment,loss

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Abstract:

This article presents findings from a small-scale qualitative research study exploring the experiences of adoptive parents during adoption transitions – the time between when a match with a child is made until a number of months after placement. What happens during this period can have a bearing on the future success of the placement and long-term well-being of the child. The article seeks to explore the experiences of adoptive parents during this stage of the process in order for practitioners to become better informed about what can make transitions successful. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine parents to capture the narrative of their adoption transition experience. Thematic analysis of the conversations revealed five main themes: rigidity, scrutiny, support, overall reflections and the relationship with the foster carer. The findings suggest that the transition period was a significant but problematic stage in the adopters’ overall adoption journey. Considerable inconsistency in the approach taken to practice in this area affected their experiences. The research highlighted areas of practice which are out of sync with that recommended in the literature; the article concludes with recommendations for promoting consistency

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