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Durham University News



Local adoptive Mums and Dads wanted to take part in new study

(27 November 2006)

Chris Jones with her project supervisor Simon Hackett

A university researcher is calling for adoptive parents to volunteer to help with her research into the ways in which adoptive families cope with the unique parenting challenges they face.

Chris Jones, a PhD student based at Durham University’s School of Applied Social Science wants to hear adoptive parents’ views and experiences of family life, the challenges they and their children face day to day and to learn about the resources that adopters draw upon when they and their children need practical and emotional support. She is seeking adoptive parents who had children placed with them by DFW Adoption, formerly known as Durham Family Welfare Association, between 1976 and 2001 to take part in an interview.

“Adoption is a unique way of creating or extending a family and offers many challenges as well as rewards for adoptive parents”, said Chris. “Adoption has been the subject of much research, yet little is known about the ways that adoptive families cope with parenting challenges and make adoption a success day to day and year to year throughout childhood and into adulthood. This study aims to fill this gap in our knowledge.”

Chris is working on the research in partnership with DFW Adoption, a leading voluntary adoption agency in the North East of England. The project will culminate in September 2008.

Approximately 40 interviews are planned in total with adoptive mothers and fathers at many different stages of family life. Some will be the parents of young children while others will have teenagers or adult children in their family.

"Adoption has changed greatly over the last 30 years”, said Chris. “Adoptive parents can offer important insights into what makes adoptive family life work. This research will give adopters an opportunity to have their views heard."

The adoptive parents who take part in the interviews will be invited to attend a discussion group to discuss the findings of the interviews and the lessons from these for policy and practice.

If you are an adoptive parent who had a child placed with you by DFW Adoption, formerly known as Durham Family Welfare Association, between 1976 and 2001 and you would like to be involved in this project please contact Chris Jones on 0191 334 1230.

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