Single parent adoptions reach record high in the UK as family lawyers hail the “Jolie effect”


Alison Woodhead, 53, director of public affairs at Adoption UK is single and adopted her 12-year-old daughter in 2011.

She said that “societal changes” were driving single-parent adoption and that while fertility treatments were improving, “the narrative surrounding adoption has changed”.

“When I adopted it was still not that common for or people to talk about a single adoption like it was a completely normal thing to do and now it’s changed radically – there’s no barrier,” she said. “As long as you’re 21-years-old you can be  of any sexual persuasion, trans etc, families come in all shapes and sizes.

“These children are among the most vulnerable in society, it’s fantastic adoption is catching up and welcoming all sorts of people in with open arms.”

There were a total of 2.8 million single-parent households in the UK in 2017, making up 15% of all households.

In November 2018 the Department for Education published data relating to the number of looked after children in England including adoption.

The 2017 to 2018 statistics for the year ending 31 March 2018 revealed that 75,420 children were looked after in the period covered, a 4% increase on 2016 to 2017.


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