Adopters Advocacy

Advocating for adopters through research: better care, improved rights, a more compassionate system.

Three students walk along a path through a green field outside the Health Innovation building

About Us

Adopters Advocacy aims to highlight the voices and needs of adopters during the adoption process and after a child has been placed, without diminishing the importance of adoptees and their birth families.

Despite growing numbers of children being looked after by local authorities, rates of adoption are decreasing. We believe that investigating and addressing the support needs of current and prospective adoptive parents is an important step to improve the system for everyone.


  • To promote and conduct high-quality interdisciplinary research about adopters needs throughout Lancaster University and beyond to have a tangible impact on policy, practice and process.
  • To develop collaborations with key stakeholders in the adoption community across the UK and beyond, working together to generate research that improves the adoption experience for adopters.
  • To provide a locus for external funding applications for research that places a focus on adopters needs.

Adopter Interviews

Trainee clinical psychologist Rhiannon O'Marah is currently seeking to recruit adopters who are interested in being interviewed about their experiences of how adoption has influenced their relationships within their family, such as siblings, parent-child, and parent-parent. For this project, she wishes to speak with adopters who have had a child placed for two years or more, and whose adoption order has been granted. In particular, she wishes to speak to adopters who also have birth children.

The interviews would last between 60-90 minutes via Microsoft Teams and adopters will receive a £10 Amazon voucher as a gratitude gift.

Email Rhiannon to participate

Adopters Advocacy Dads' Group

Adopters Advocacy has received funding from the Faculty of Health and Medicine to run a Dads’ Group. If you’re a dad with adopted children, then feel free to come along to any or all of the sessions. When planning the programme, we’ve tried to incorporate the range of ‘dads’ that we came across during our research, including those with young children, those whose children may have left home, as well as those dads who work, and those who are ‘stay at home’ dads. All are welcome – and there are some sessions where your partner and children are also welcome, too!

View the Dads Group programme and come along!

Other Projects


Breaking the Silence on Adopters Mental Health

Professor Laura Machin was invited to speak about the Adopters Advocacy Project at ExChange Wales' 2024 annual adoption lecture. In her talk, Laura shares some findings from our research in 2023 and the emerging conclusions that have been drawn from our adopter workshops.

Adopters Advocacy Network

We are always interested in hearing from adopters or prospective adopters who might be interested in participating in our research.

You can also use this form to update or remove your current details should you no longer wish to be kept on our database.

Register to join the network


Dr Lina Hamad

Clinical Researcher

Lacey Johnson
Postgraduate Researcher

Jasmeet Kaur
Postgraduate Researcher

Professor Laura Machin

Professor of the Social and Ethical Aspects of Health and Medicine

Dr Nicola Platt
Postdoctoral Researcher

Rhiannon O'Marah

Postgraduate Researcher

Ellie Vowles

Kerry Watts
Postgraduate Researcher