University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Why are we Waiting? Research, Policy and Practice in Recruiting and Supporting Same Gender Couples in Child Adoption

Misca, Gabriela ORCID: and Smith, J. (2013) Why are we Waiting? Research, Policy and Practice in Recruiting and Supporting Same Gender Couples in Child Adoption. In: People, Policy and Practice: Research Focus Conference, 23rd October 2013, Institute of Health and Society, University of Worcester, UK. (Unpublished)

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The adoption process is renowned for its difficulties, however gay and lesbian couples face unique, additional challenges when choosing parenthood through adoption. The Adoption and Children’s Act (2002), Equality Act (2006) and the Sexual Orientation Regulations act (2007) are some of the recent policy changes aimed at ‘smoothing out’ the adoption process for same-gender couples (Cosis-Brown & Kershaw, 2008). Resultantly, there appear to be more cases of gay adoption than ever before (Equality Britain, 2005), however, anecdotal evidence suggests that across the UK the practice of recruiting and supporting gay and lesbian adopters is inconsistent. Whilst some local authorities encourage and emphasise the importance of stability and high quality care for vulnerable looked after children regardless of parental sexuality (Mallon, 2007); yet case studies of gay and lesbian couples seeking adoption demonstrate the unique challenges they encounter in the adoption process because of religious views (Hicks, 2005) or the attitudes towards same gender parenting of adoption panels and social workers within an unspoken hierarchy (Ahmed, 2008; Dennis, 2006). Government’s drive towards adoption (Unwin and Misca, 2013) of children in care as a favoured alternative should lead to recognition of same-gender couples as an under-utilised resource of potential adopters to be used in the best interest of the children who are looked after.
The poster will present the results of research undertaken by the authors during 2012-13 highlighting how research on same-gender parenthood over the past decades has influenced the recent developments in the adoption policy and practice in the UK and worldwide. The poster will identify areas of potential barriers encountered in translating these policy changes in the current practice of adoption with a particular focus on professionals’ attitudes towards same-gender couples as potential adopters.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: adoption, children, same-gender couple, law
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Gabriela Misca
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 12:51
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:06

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