The Black Adoption Project – creating better futures for Black adopted children in London

Black Adoption Project

Creating better futures for Black adopted children in London. This project aims to look beyond short-term solutions to understand and respond to the many complex factors that impact adoption in the Black community.

NEW: Theory of Change video

A vital part of the Black Adoption Project is the development of the Theory of Change (ToC). We’ve produced a new video to delve deeper into its principles, featuring Laurelle Brown from Laurelle Brown Training & Consultancy.  Laurelle explores the role of the ToC within the Project and how its driving a new approach to addressing the long-standing disparities experienced by Black children and families in adoption.

You can also download the Theory of Change document (illustrated by Tamara-Jade Kaz).

Adoption in London’s Black community

London is rich in culture and diversity and has a proud Black community who have been providing loving homes for London’s Black children in need of adoption for many years. We celebrate the commitment, love and support they have for their children.

Prior to and since our formation as Adopt London Regional Adoption Agencies, we’ve been aware of long-standing and persistent challenges in recruiting enough Black adoptive parents, and the impact of this on Black children in need of adoption. Black and mixed Black ethnicity children who are adopted do not move into an adoptive family as quickly as other children, impacting how early in life they can begin to settle and build the new attachments and relationships that will help them process the loss and trauma they may have experienced, and help them begin to thrive and fulfil their potential. Many Black children with a plan for adoption never go on to be adopted because the right adoptive family for them cannot be identified.

The Black Adoption Project is a partnership between four Regional Adoption Agencies (covering 24 London boroughs) and Laurelle Brown Training & Consultancy, working in collaboration with people with lived experience of Black adoption, and with Black communities in London.

To really improve the opportunities and outcomes for Black children, we need to identify, recognise and take every possible step to remove obstacles and provide the support that’s needed to Black adoptive parents before and after adoption. We believe that whilst some adoptive parents of non-Black racial and ethnic groups are strongly placed to adopt and support a Black child, and this is right for some children, ‘trans-racial’ adoption alone is not a solution to the disparities for Black children in the adoption system currently. We want to walk alongside and support parents of other racial identities and ethnicities who have adopted Black children, and ensure that we have the right support in place for all Black adopted children to thrive.

Black Adoption Project webinars

Year One Report Launch – This session shares information on the findings of the Report and the progress of key initiatives.  Over 200 attendees joined us live, with many sharing professional and personal experiences that significantly contributed to the depth and richness of the reflections. Distinguished guest speakers Dr Tam Cane – Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex and Dr John Wainwright – Senior Lecturer in Health, Social Work and Sport at the University of Central Lancaster, joined the session and shared invaluable insights.


The Theory of Change Webinar – two more guests joined us for the second Black Adoption Project webinar; Dr Yewande Okuleye, Health Humanities academic and participant in the Project’s Theory of Change development process, and Beverley Barnett-Jones MBE FRSA Associate Director for Practice and Impact at the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory. This webinar focused on the collaborative process by which the Project’s Theory of Change was developed and the depth of learning achieved through that process.


Key research findings

We are committed to learning through different forms of research, qualitative and quantitative. Our initial research is detailed in our Phase 1 Report. Our research evidences the disparities for Black children in the adoption system and pinpoints where these disparities are occurring. It also looks at the experiences of Black prospective adoptive parents, and Black community perceptions of adoption. Some of our key findings are:

  • Black children who have a plan of adoption agreed by the court are much less likely than other children to go on to be adopted, and this often seems to be because suitable adoptive parents could not be found.
  • Black children who are adopted wait much longer to move into their adoptive family.
  • Black prospective adopters are more likely to drop out during the assessment process and not go on to adopt a child.

Some of the most significant barriers to prospective adoptive parents coming to adopt are financial factors, negative experiences or perceptions of the assessment process, the need for more support after adoption (including culturally informed support), and the impact of racism.

Sign up to the mailing list

We are dedicated to dismantling the challenges that surround adoption in the Black community in London. At the Black Adoption Project, we believe that all children deserve a happy, safe, and loving home, regardless of their race. Join us – sign up to our mailing list – as we embark on this mission, and together we can start creating better futures for Black adopted children in London.

When you join the mailing list, you will receive information about the latest webinars, resources and the progress of the Project’s work.

Scan the code or click the link to sign up 

Podcasts for the community

The Adoption Shared – Black Voices series of podcasts focus on adoption in the Black community. The podcasts are hosted by Eddie Elliott for We Are Family and in partnership with Adopt London. Adoptive parents, people who have been adopted and adoption professionals share their experiences in this unique series. Click the link for the Black Voices podcasts – sharing the joys and challenges of adoption in the Black community.

Black Ballad, a UK based lifestyle initiative for Black women host this podcast featuring five Black British women all talking about adoption, each from their own perspective. This podcast – The Realities of the Adoption Process and how we can better centre Adoptees – explores what it is like adopting a child, and how an adult adoptee wants to ensure the focus remains on the children and people who are adopted. This recording is with thanks to all the strong women who enabled this podcast to take place, from the initial concept in partnership with Adopt London, to our amazing speakers, right through to the production team at Black Ballad.

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