Welcome to our ExChange conference series entitled Reframing Adoption running from May- June 2023. We aim to shine a light on the often forgotten area of adoption and highlight some of the most recent and important research and development in this area. Adoption provides an often elusive permanency for many children and is ever evolving. We have a range of eminent speakers from across the UK who have contributed to our knowledge base on this topic. 

The conference is opened by Suzanne Griffiths, Head of the National Adoption Service in Wales. The conference series includes live and pre-recorded sessions, podcasts, research reports and blogs. Young people who have been adopted in Wales have created artwork for the conference series which will be show cased on the ExChange website.

Welcome to the conference

Suzanne Griffiths, Director, National Adoption Service for Wales / Foster Wales

Wednesday 3rd May – 12:30


A Home for me? A comparative review of the value of different forms of permanence for children: adoption, SGO and fostering

Prof. Jim Clifford OBE Chief Executive, Sonnet Advisory & Impact

Maintaining relationships in adoption – new research and a theory of change

Prof. Beth Neil, University of East Anglia

Safeguarding children living with foster carers, adopters and special guardians: learning from case reviews

Prof. Hedy Cleaver and Wendy Rose OBE

Outcomes of Open Adoption: what can we learn from Australian practice?

Prof. Harriet Ward CBE, Rees Centre, University of Oxford


The voices of those with lived experience of maintaining significant relationships

Abbie and Rosie

Dr John Simmonds

Chris Holmquist, Adoption Wales

Releasing Friday 5th May – 12:00

Identities, family relationships and feelings of belonging within adoptive families through ‘name stories’

Dr Jane Pilcher, Associate Professor, Nottingham Trent University

Dr Hannah Deakin-Smith, Researcher, Nottingham Trent University 

Dr Jan Flaherty, Researcher, Nottingham Trent University

Releasing Wednesday 24th May12:00

The current practice in Wales of ‘pre-meets’: meetings between children and their prospective adopters.

Jenny Blackmore, Cardiff University

Releasing Monday 19th June – 12:00


Two mothers, one child: an adoptive mother and birth mother with direct contact

Chris Holmquist, Adoption Wales

Friday 5th May

Adopting older children

Claire Palmer, Cardiff University

Wednesday 17th May

Keeping Connected

Chris Holmquist, Adoption Wales

Thursday 1st June

Race in Adoption, the Absent Presence

Dr Lorraine Agu, Leeds Beckett University

Friday 12th May

Early Permanence

Sarah Johal, National Adoption Strategic Lead, National Adoption Service England

Monday 22nd May

Adoption in education through identity

Andrew Brown, Cardiff University / Rees Centre

Monday 5th June

Resources & Creative

With the help of AUK and 14 Young people from their Mid Wales group we have created a gallery of artworks exploring reflections on adoption from the perspective of the adoptees. These works showcase a broad range of responses. Some have powerful and literal interpretations, others are more enigmatic and some just playful. They ensure that you are reminded of the young people and their voice when you discuss adoption and we hope that their creativity can help to inspire you. Our sincere thanks to AUK, their Youth Workers and the Young People attending their Mid Wales group in April 2023.

Looking for something specific?

Check out more resources around adoption in our dedicated Padlet wall

Are you looking for world-class dissemination around the subject of social care?

ExChange Wales brings leading researchers together with practitioners and service users to share expertise, research evidence, and care experiences.