Historic forced adoption - scoping study: service delivery paper

Research report identifying critical factors to consider when designing services for people affected by historic forced adoption in Scotland.

6. Conclusions and next steps

The scoping study has gathered evidence of the types of support required by people affected by historic forced adoption and their experience of existing support services. It also highlighted gaps and improvements needed.

This paper has presented considerations for the development of services for people affected by historic forced adoption, based on research participants’ views and the results of our literature review. We suggest priorities should include:

  • Ensuring support is delivered in a sensitive and empathetic manner.
  • Enhancing professionals’ awareness of the impact of historic forced adoption and the support services available.
  • Assisting people with search and reunion, accessing records and the emotional and psychological impact of historic forced adoption. This should include talking therapies, emotional support, peer support and complementary and creative therapies.
  • Considering the role of organisations that were involved in historic forced adoptions – some people have reservations about accessing their support but others spoke of their expertise and valuable assistance.
  • Thinking about how to fund support, and whether financial assistance should be available to individuals to help pay for private sector services.
  • Assessing the merit of introducing a single front door service to act as a gateway into all types of support with historic forced adoption.

We suggest the Scottish Government should work with partners and other relevant organisations to enhance the support available for people affected by historic forced adoption. A useful first step could be to engage with people who have lived experience of historic forced adoption, as suggested in Chapter 3, to review the findings from the scoping study, agree priorities for responding to the needs identified, and develop plans to implement the necessary improvements.


Email: Joanna.Harrold@gov.scot

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