A framework for the analysis of the social processes in the adoption of disabled children
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
children and families
L500 Social Work
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AbstractSummary: There is a dearth of literature on the adoption of disabled children within the UK, and that which has been published is somewhat dated and often characterised by largely empiricist approach, which is perhaps surprising in view of the fact that the study of adult disability has benefited so greatly from an understanding of the social processes involved. Cousins (2009), for example, has suggested that disabled children are profoundly disadvantaged in the adoption process by the negativity associated with the social construction of disability. Findings: This article seeks to develop a framework that provides a theoretically informed and multidimensional approach to the understanding of the adoption of disabled children. It does so by drawing on Layder's delineation of different levels of analysis. This entails examining wider macro features that influence adoption processes, right through to the micro interactions between adopters and adoption agencies. The article also applies Bourdieu's concept of the habitus to assist in our understanding of how individual agents internalise the messages around them, which can influence and mediate their actions in adoption. Application: This framework indicates that adoption outcomes for disabled children can only be understood within wider social processes, which can affect not only individual adoptions themselves, but also the practice of adoption generally. This has implications for both research and practice, for if, on the one hand, it provides a more comprehensive framework for the conduct of research, and it also potentially enables practice to be informed by wider considerations other than those occurring in the immediate context of the adoption.
CitationBunt, S. (2013) 'A framework for the analysis of the social processes in the adoption of disabled children'. Journal of Social Work 14 (5):524
JournalJournal of Social Work