Adoption from Care: International Perspectives on Children’s Rights, Family Preservation and State Intervention

Tarja Pösö, Marit Skivenes and June Thoburn - Research in Social Work series, Bristol University Press

This book introduces general topics on human rights and attachment, as well as a country-specific in-depth analysis of the legal and policy imperatives guiding adoptions from care, with a particular interest on the rights of children and their care-taking adults, including their birth parents. The authors argue that the seemingly ‘minor’ issue of adoptions from care provides a unique and topical point to explore how children’s rights are practised and weighed against parents’ rights in present-day societies, and how governments and legal and welfare professionals balance those rights and discharge their duties of care to all who need their services, especially children following a decision that they cannot grow up in their parents’ care.

The primary focus in this book is on those situations in which the child has been taken into public care by child protection systems or due to abandonment, and while in public care, an adoption process is initiated. They are ‘domestic adoptions’, in the sense that the adoptees and adopters have the same country of residence, for example, in the same way as domestic step-parent adoptions. Domestic adoptions are different from inter-country adoptions, in which a child is adopted from another country. Children of inter-country adoptions might be in public care when inter-country adoption proceedings are initiated but the authors focus here only on domestic adoptions from care.