Adoption, child rescue, maltreatment and poverty

June Thoburn, Brigid Featherstone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The ups and downs of adoption from the mid 1970s can only be understood via an exploration of sometimes conflicting discourses and corresponding changes in political and public opinion. In policy and practice terms, the UK nations sit somewhere between the USA and most other rich countries with respect to the use of adoption as a child protection measure. Child rescue and ‘providing a new life by cutting out the past’ as guiding principles for adopters have never been likely to lead to successful adoptive family life, and access to social media for children, parents, or relatives as a means of retaining or resuming contact make it an even more unrealistic aspiration. Adoption from care is mainly used as a response to actual or likely child maltreatment and for those entering care when under the age of 4. There are very few birth mothers and fathers, at least in the UK nations, who gain from legal adoption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Critical Social Work
EditorsStephen A. Webb
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351264396, 9781351264402
ISBN (Print)9781138578432, 9780367659592
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


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