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‘It shouldn’t just be these kinds of sunshine stories’: social workers’ discussion of ‘past difficulties’ as a key theme in adoption assessment interviews
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4531-0400
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4427-3321
2020 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

According to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, the receiving state must determine that prospective parents are suited to adopt, and it is up to each State Party to identify the criteria and methods by which suitability is determined. The present study focuses on social workers’ accounts of the assessment practice, and offers insight into the complexity of the assessment task as well as what is expected and required of adoption applicants. More precisely, it explores why talking about past difficulties and crises is considered to be crucial when assessing prospective adoptive parents. The analysis of social workers’ discussions of their work demonstrates how ‘talking about difficulties’ in assessment interviews serves two primary institutional purposes, as it relates to both the examination of suitability for parenthood and the credibility of the assessment per se. Furthermore, the study points to how social workers’ professional discourse on the significance of past experiences holds and reproduces the ideal of a reflective confessing subject, the hallmark of a therapeutic culture.

Abstract [sv]

Vid internationell adoption är det, enligt Haagkonventionen, mottagarlandets skyldighet att utreda huruvida de som ansöker om att få adoptera är lämpliga som föräldrar. Det är dock upp till varje konventionsstat att bestämma utifrån vilka kriterier, och med vilka metoder, som lämplighet ska bedömas. Denna studie fokuserar på familjerättssekreterares beskrivningar av bedömningspraktiken och bidrar med kunskap om såväl utredningens komplexitet som de krav som ställs på adoptionssökande. Mer specifikt undersöks varför samtal om svårigheter och kriser anses avgörande i bedömning av presumtiva adoptivföräldrars lämplighet. Analysen av familjerättssekreterarnas diskussioner visar hur samtal om svårigheter fyller olika syften och kopplas till både bedömning av lämplighet för föräldraskap och utredningens trovärdighet i sig. Studien belyser hur familjerättssekreterares professionella diskurs om betydelsen av tidigare svårigheter rymmer och reproducerar den terapeutiska kulturens ideal om ett reflekterande och bekännande subjekt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Taylor & Francis Group, 2020.
Keywords [en]
Adoption, assessment, parenthood, social work practice, therapeutic culture
Keywords [sv]
Adoption, det sociala arbetets praktik, föräldraskap, medgivandeutredning, teraputisk kultur
National Category
Social Work Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-163425DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2019.1709160ISI: 000509452900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-163425DiVA, id: diva2:1391433
Projects
Förberedelse för föräldraskap. Medgivandeutredningen som institutionell process
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2015-00542
Note

Funding agencies: This work was supported by Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare: [grant number 2015-00542]

Available from: 2020-02-04 Created: 2020-02-04 Last updated: 2020-02-18

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Wirzén, MadeleineLindgren, Cecilia

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