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AUK Adoption Barometer highlights need for FASD awareness and services


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Video: Joanna Buckard, Specialist Projects Coordinator welcomes the 2020 Adoption Barometer, which shows the importance of recording Alcohol Exposed Pregnancies

Access to information for diagnosis is critical

(London) National FASD welcomes Adoption UK’s decision to focus this year’s Adoption Barometer on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. National FASD’s chief executive Sandra Butcher said, “The results of their survey should give serious pause to all segments of society seeking to promote positive outcomes for adoptive families. Their results reflect what we hear across the board from individuals with FASD and the wide range of families supporting loved ones with FASD.  We need policy makers and society to step up and wake up to FASD. As an adoptive mum of a teen with FASD, my own family’s experience has shown how incredibly important diagnosis and appropriate FASD-informed support can be.”

The AUK survey shows that: in more than half the cases, children are waiting longer than two years for diagnosis; too often professionals lack adequate training on FASD; there are inconsistent pathways in place across the UK, leading to a post-code lottery; in some 45% of instances, families are told that while the child may have been exposed to alcohol in utero, there is not proof of that, making diagnosis impossible for the more than 90% of those on the FASD spectrum who have no distinctive facial features. Only 18% showed they received effective support post-diagnosis.


“These findings strongly support the need for the coming NICE Quality Statement on FASD,” said Joanna Buckard, Specialist Projects Coordinator for National FASD. “The AUK survey comes on the heels of National FASD’s poll of 2000 people who showed overwhelming, nearly unanimous support for 1) children having access to information about harm done to them in utero to help them get diagnosis and 2) support and for noting drinking alcohol in pregnancy as part of routine antenatal care. The National FASD poll showed the vast majority of people out there have a common sense approach to these issues. The AUK survey demonstrated this is not hypothetical. Real lives are affected by the need for the information.”

Adoption UK’s 2020 Adoption Barometer: 


For more information about the September 2020 National FASD poll:


A quarter of adopted UK children affected by drinking during pregnancy, The Guardian, 29 September 2020


For more information about FASD:



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Training Newsletter October 2023

As we embark on our journey to raise awareness and provide essential training on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), we’re excited to share our progress

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