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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

For the attention of adoptive parents with children aged 3-11 years

(13 Posts)
ParentingStressStudy Mon 22-Aug-11 18:25:48


I am posting in this forum (in addition to my research topic post) because I believe it is really important for adoptive parents to be better represented in research about parenting issues. So, I just wanted to let the adoptive parents on Mumsnet know - I would particularly value your participation in my brief, anonymous, online questionnaire study for parents, if you would like to take part!

What's the study about?
This study is about the experience of being an adoptive parent, and how this relates to children's characteristics. It aims to further understanding of the factors which effect stress in adoptive parents, to help psychologists to develop better ways of helping adoptive parents who are suffering from stress.

What would I have to do?
It involves answering a secure, online questionnaires about you and your adoptive child, and your experience of parenting him or her. This will take about 20-25 minutes. Your responses will be anonymous and confidential. At the end of the questionnaire, you will have the opportunity to enter your email address into a random prize draw to win a £100, £50 or £20 voucher of your choice.

Who is doing this research?
This study is part of a doctoral thesis being conducted by Jayne Harris-Waller, a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Oxford. The research is being supervised by qualified psychologists and has been approved by the University research ethics committee.

If you have any further questions about the study, and you would like to discuss them before deciding whether to take part, you are welcome to email:

To find out more and to take part:
Click here ...or copy this link to your browser
Enter the password "AdoWeb"

Thanks for your time.

TTmum Mon 22-Aug-11 21:29:39

I've done this and it was interesting, however I found a few confusing and answered the best I could - Particularly the questions about 'problems' I'm concerned for the problems my child exhibits - but just for their health and future security - not for me... If that makes sense....?

hester Thu 25-Aug-11 20:51:40

I did this for my birth child. I also have an adopted child but she is 23 months so too young for you, I'm afraid.

Best of luck with your research.

thefirstMrsDeVere Thu 25-Aug-11 21:04:16

Well I was going to.

But my son doesnt count because he is disabled.


Maryz Thu 25-Aug-11 21:14:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thefirstMrsDeVere Thu 25-Aug-11 21:26:32

I am quite annoyed.

I am sure there are reasons for this exclusion but I am still a bit pissed off TBH.

You are right. How many kids will fit the criteria and how will that be a representative sample?

In DS's SN play scheme there were 6 children in his group. 3 were adopted.

Now I know that doesnt prove anything but its quite a coincedence dont you think?

thefirstMrsDeVere Thu 25-Aug-11 21:28:16

Sorry but the more I think about this the more annoyed I am getting.


What causes stress in adoptive families?

The fact that a large amount of children who are adopted have additional needs is quite a big stressor.

I would think

aquos Thu 25-Aug-11 21:32:58

I have 2 adoptive children. My ds is SN, but is actually less stressful to parent. My dd has no official diagnosis so I have completed the questionnaire based on her. A lot of the questions seemed familiar. I am sure I have completed a similar questionnaire before? CAMHS maybe?

Maryz Thu 25-Aug-11 21:35:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thefirstMrsDeVere Thu 25-Aug-11 22:00:02

I dont mean to suggest that all children with SN are stressful aquos.

I am glad that your DS isnt.

My DS is. sad

He is lovely but he is hard work. What is harder work is all the stuff around getting him what he needs and the appts and stuff.

The worry of what will happen as he gets older is another thing that worries me.

The fact he is adopted and has SN has made things complicated. Getting professionals to agree what is down to adoption/trauma and what is down to ASD/LDs etc has been a bit of a nightmare.

But thats another thread I suppose. smile

aquos Thu 25-Aug-11 22:16:52

Yes mrsdevere. I agree. My dd has no diagnosis, but is damaged (God, I hate that word, can someone give me a better alternative?) by the experiences that led to her being adopted. My dds issues are emotional which is where the stress comes in parenting her. My sons difficulties are more physical and so, for me, so much easier to deal with. I worry about both of them for the future, but for completely different reasons.

I also agree that dealing with professionals can be exceedingly stressful. Those that understand adoption are few and far between. We were lucky with our CAMHS, after a rocky start they soon realised we were part of the solution, not the cause of the problems as is often the case with the dysfunctional families they deal with.

Lilka Thu 25-Aug-11 22:23:36

I could do that for DS but yes, were DD2 or DD1 under 11 I would be excluded especially DD2 - and she was not born with her problems. But they are a MAJOR stress inducer. Does this exclusion apply to attachment difficulties or PTSD which majorly impact daily life, or not?? Because you are excluding enough adoptive parents there to bias the sample you do get, ESPECIALLY if the study is about stress levels!

thefirstMrsDeVere Thu 25-Aug-11 22:30:26

I hate damaged too. I prefer 'injured'. It seems less negative somehow. Something that can be changed but doesnt needed 'fixing'.

I cant say its caught on though. People look at me like I am mad when I use it.

'Damaged' has become so intrenched in the language of adoption and fostering hasnt it?

I agree with your last sentence and thank you for putting something into words that I couldnt express. The professionals I have met are so used to the parents being the problem it seems really hard for them to make that shift. Not that I am saying I am a perfect mum (!) but I am not the cause of the trauma. I am the one trying to find ways of dealing with how DS has been affected.

I saw a pyschologist last week about DS's eating issues. She said she had seen his particular problem before but they came from dysfunctional family situations. DS has been with me since he was 8 weeks old (although we didnt have any PR for two years so his life was pretty chaotic). She was lovely but I felt I had to say 'do you think we are dysfunctional?' It sort of came out of my mouth before I really thought about it IYSWIM.

I am pleased to say she didnt think we were. smile

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