Abused Children Who Were Adopted Did 'Significantly Better' than Those Brought Up in Care

University of Oxford

Abused and neglected children who were adopted had significantly better life outcomes compared with children who stayed in foster care, according to new research from the University of Oxford and Barnardos (Australia).

Adoption has long been seen as better for children than remaining in care, but the results—based on more than 200 children—were "surprising," especially in terms of educational and , says lead researcher Emeritus Professor Harriet Ward.

Key findings of the study include:

  • 63% of adult adoptees completed Year 12 (Australian equivalent of GCSEs) or higher, compared with 42% of adults who grew up in foster care.
  • 62% of adult adoptees were engaged in full-time employment, education or training compared with 34% of adults who grew up in foster care.