There is little currently known about the experiences and support needs of adopted people who are now parents. Neither have the experiences of adoptive parents as grandparents been studied. Given the changes in adoption over the last 30 years, we know adopted people will likely have been removed from their birth families where they were at risk from, or experienced adversity or harm. Therefore, as well as making sense of being adopted, this generation of adoptees may be living with long term effects of their difficult experiences in early life. Adoptees may also have had difficulties within their adoptive families.
Given the lifelong nature of adoption, important questions around the arrival of the next generation remain unanswered e.g. what is it like being a parent or grandparent after adoption? How might planning, expecting and being a parent affect how adopted people feel about their birth family? How will adopted people experience parenting their own child given their past histories? How will adoptive parents react to the arrival of a grandchild, and how will they see any role of birth grandparents?
This research will draw on theories about identity, risk and resilience in understanding the experiences of parents and grandparents. Beneficiaries of the research will include adopted people and their children, adoptive parents and also a range of practitioners, policy makers, and academics studying adoption, families, resilience and identity.