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Barriers towards same-gender adoptive parenting in the justice system: exploring the missing link(s)

Misca, Gabriela ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5153-5513 and Scherman, R. (2021) Barriers towards same-gender adoptive parenting in the justice system: exploring the missing link(s). In: ICAR7 International Conference on Adoption Research, 6-9 July 2021, Milano, Italy (delivered online). (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Same-gender couples wishing to adopt continue to encounter unjustified barriers, based predominately on the negative or biased attitudes of professionals within the adoption industry. Research on social workers’ attitudes reports that religiosity, being male, and heteronormative beliefs are some of the strongest predictors of bias.
Lawyers are also professionals with the power to support or thwart same-gender adoptions. A search of the law journals shows no shortage of scholarship on same-gender marriage, the rights of same-gender couples, and the best interests of their children; yet, nothing about lawyers’ attitudes or decision-making processes about same-gender parent adoption.

This presentation reports on the attitudes of New Zealand professionals toward same-sex adoption. While the study included social workers, lawyers, and other professionals, the focus of this talk is the lawyers—a largely unconsidered population, whose attitudes differed from the social workers’ in one particular way: lawyers scored lower on beliefs that lesbians and gay men should have the same opportunities as heterosexuals to adopt.

Possible explanations include the legal profession’s emphasis on the “best interest of the children”, which might predispose lawyers to argue from the children’s perspectives; or their keen awareness of the risks associated with having a non-legal parent, with couples that do not disclose their sexual orientation. Recommendations for practice, and future research, will be discussed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: LGBTQ+ adults, LGBTQ+ parents, LGBTQ+ adoptive parenting, adoption, justice system
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Gabriela Misca
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 08:49
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2021 08:49
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/11411

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