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Becoming parents by adoption: a systematic review

Long, Tracey; Jones, Catriona; Jomeen, Julie; Martin, Colin


Tracey Long

Catriona Jones

Julie Jomeen

Colin Martin


Transition to parenthood (TP) for biological parents has been extensively explored in research, shaping healthcare service provision from pre-conception, birth and beyond. Adoptive parents are in a unique position. Despite growing number of studies on this issue there remains a demonstrable evidence gap about the experiences of adoptive parents. There is an urgent need to bring existing work in this area of TP together and synthesize the key messages for research and practice.

To identify and summarise papers concerning the experiences of adoptive parents, becoming parents for the first time, in order to inform future research and clinical practice. Methods A systematic review searched CINAHL, MEDLINE and PsycINFO.

The search identified 21 papers and 7 areas of interest.

Similarities exist between new biological and new adoptive parents however new adoptive parents face unique experiences and challenges as a result of becoming parents through adoption, not biology.


Long, T., Jones, C., Jomeen, J., & Martin, C. (2021). Becoming parents by adoption: a systematic review. Journal of Health Visiting, 9(3), 116–127.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 5, 2021
Publication Date Mar 18, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 25, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 19, 2021
Journal Journal of Health Visiting
Print ISSN 2050-8719
Electronic ISSN 2052-2908
Publisher MA Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 3
Pages 116–127
Keywords New adoptive parents, becoming parents, transition to adoptive parenthood, systematic review
Public URL


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