This book explores what it is like to be involved in
contemporary open adoption, characterised by varying forms of contact with
birth relatives, from an adoptive parent point of view.
The author's fine-grained interpretative phenomenological
analysis of adopters' accounts reveals the complexity of kinship for those
whose most significant relationships are made, unmade and permanently altered
through adoption. MacDonald distinctively connects adoption to wider
sociological theories of relatedness and personal life, and focuses on domestic
non-kin adoption of children from state care, including compulsory adoption. The
book also addresses current child welfare concerns, and suggestions are made
for adoption practice. The book will be of interest to scholars and students
with an interest in adoption, social work, child welfare, foster care, family and
Mandi MacDonald is Lecturer in social work at Queens University, Belfast, UK.
She has extensive social work experience in statutory child welfare services in
Northern Ireland, most recently undertaking permanence planning and public
adoption for children in care.
1. Introduction.- 2. Locating the Study of Adoptive Parenthood.- 3. Parental Entitlement and Proper Parenting.- 4. Public Openness, Difference and Microaggressions.- 5. Configuring adoptive kinship.- 6. Conclusion: Contested Parenthood