Group launched to support fathers of adopted children

A group of people in conversation with only their hands fully visible

Fathers of adopted children are in need of specific support designed with their experiences in mind, according to experts from Lancaster University.

Professor Laura Machin – who is both an adoptive parent and adopted adult – last year launched the Adopters Advocacy project, to highlight the voices of prospective adopters and adopters during the adoption process and after a child has been placed.

Research from the project has since found that there is a great need to build communities to support male adopters, and academics have set up a new Dads Group to try to help.

Professor Machin, from Lancaster Medical School, said: “During our research, we found that dads felt excluded from existing parent groups, or that those groups weren’t designed with them in mind.

“Dads shared with us that they need support that benefits their mental health, that is designed especially with adoptive fathers in mind, and that is non-judgemental and compassionate.

“So, we are inviting male adopters to join our Dads Group, which aims to bring together people with similar experiences. We hope that this will be a valuable step towards helping adoptive dads feel heard and supported, and we hope to see as many people as possible at our events.”

Adopters Advocacy has received funding from Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine to build a community of adopters, starting with the Dads Group. Dads are welcome to come along to any or all of the sessions.

The group is aimed at a range of fathers, including those with young children, those whose children may have left home, dads who work in paid employment, and those who are “stay-at-home” dads.

The programme of events runs through May, June and July, with some aimed specifically at dads and others for children as well. They include a free breakfast or lunch, free floats sessions at Lancaster University Sports Centre, a beginners climbing wall session, and an online quiz.

The first event takes place on 13th May at the Health Innovation One Café between 9.30am – 11am, and it is open to all adoptive parents, to create the opportunity for adopters to come together over breakfast and spend time together informally in a relaxed environment.

If you are an adoptive dad and want to meet and spend time with other adoptive dads, then please sign up at: Adopters Advocacy - Lancaster University, where you can find the full programme of events, or email:

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