Every child adopted from the public care system in the UK has a complex and individual history of early adversity that may include early experiences of maltreatment, neglect, or household dysfunction. Some children may have been exposed to drugs or alcohol in utero or may have a higher genetic risk for mental health problems. All children placed for adoption experience separation from their birth parents and some degree of instability in their living circumstances during their time in care. 

Although the context of the adoptive family aims to provide children with stability, protection, and a loving and stimulating environment, early adversity can have profound consequences for development. Although evidence suggests that many adopted children fare well, their experiences of early adversity places them at greater risk for developing emotional and behavioural problems. In this webinar, Dr Amy Paine presents findings from the Wales Adoption Cohort Study (2015-2020), where our primary aim was to increase understanding of the factors that supported successful outcomes for Welsh children adopted from care in the transition from early to middle childhood. Also presented are the findings regarding the neuropsychological profiles and mental health of Welsh children adopted from care in 2015 and the impact of family relationship quality on their later psychological health. 

Presented by: Dr. Amy Paine, School of Psychology, Cardiff University.