Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Adoption from Care

NEW BOOK: International Perspectives on Children’s Rights, Family Preservation and State Intervention.

This book, edited by Tarja PösöMarit Skivenes and June Thoburn, examines policies and research on how governments and professionals balance rights and responsibilities for children that cannot return to parental care.

– Adoption as a child protection measure secures the child on legal, residential and emotional permanency, but it is a complex and contested child protection measure. Nevertheless, the research gaps are huge, and there is also a lack of data and information about the proceedings. In this book we contribute with new insights in how adoption from care is conceived and practiced in different countries. We hope the book is a useful contribution for both researchers and practitioners, states editor Marit Skivenes.

Issues in child protection

The book includes chapters written by researchers from various diciplines, socio-political and legal contexts in Europe and the United States, and the book includes an analysis of family concepts, contact arrangements, the child’s best-interest principle, attachment and human rights, when children are adopted from care.

– The seemingly minor issue of adoption from care provides an unique opportunity to explore important normative issues in child protection, explains editor Tarja Pösö.

She mentions that children’s rights, governments responsibilities and willingness to restrict individuals freedom, the least intrusive principle, are important themes that can be addressed by looking at adoptions from care.

Comparative approach

The book takes on an international comparative approach, provides detailed information on adoption processes, and shares learning from best practice and research across country boundaries.

– A main goal for us has been to help improve outcomes for all children in care for whom adoption may be the placement of choice, says editor June Thoburn.

The book is available open access from the link below. A list of contents is included below the reference.

Short video presentation of the book by editors Marit Skivenes, June Thoburn and Tarja Pösö, together with chapter author Katre Luhamaa, held at the ECSWR conference.

Pösö, Skivenes & Thoburn (2021). Adoption from Care. International Perspectives on Children’s Rights, Family Preservation and State InterventionPolicy Press.

List of contents:

  • Chapter 1: Introducing the field of adoption from care ~ Tarja Pösö, Marit Skivenes and June Thoburn
  • Chapter 2: Adoption from care in England: learning from experience ~ June Thoburn
  • Chapter 3: Overcoming the Soviet legacy? Adoption from care in Estonia ~ Katre Luhamaa and Judit Strömpl
  • Chapter 4: Adoption of children from state care in Ireland: in whose best interests? ~ Kenneth Burns and Simone McCaughren
  • Chapter 5: Adoption from care: policy and practice in the United States ~ Jill Duerr Berrick
  • Chapter 6: Adoption from care in Austria ~ Jenny Krutzinna and Katrin Križ
  • Chapter 7: Adoption from care in Finland: currently an uncommon alternative to foster care ~ Pia Eriksson and Tarja Pösö
  • Chapter 8: Adoption from care in Germany: inconclusive policy and poorly coordinated practice ~ Thomas Meysen and Ina Bovenschen
  • Chapter 9: Adoption from care in Norway ~ Hege Stein Helland and Marit Skivenes
  • Chapter 10: Adoption from care in Spain ~ Sagrario Segado, Ana Cristina Gomez Aparicio and Esther Abad Guerra
  • Chapter 11: International human rights law governing national adoption from care ~ Katre Luhamaa and Conor O’Mahony
  • Chapter 12: Creating ‘family’ in adoption from care ~ Jenny Krutzinna
  • Chapter 13: Understanding attachment in decisions on adoption from care in Norway ~ Hege Stein Helland and Sveinung Hellesen Nygård
  • Chapter 14: The adoptive kinship network: issues around birth family contact in adoption ~ June Thoburn
  • Chapter 15: Making sense of adoption from care in very different contexts ~ Tarja Pösö, Marit Skivenes and June Thoburn


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