The adoption of children from out-of-home care

The understandings of key decision makers in Victoria, Australia

Anna Butlinski, Heather Rowe, Christopher Goddard, Nicholas Freezer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Adoption is one of a range of options that can provide children in out-of-home care with permanency when they are unable to be reunified with their birth parents. This paper reports on how the adoption of children from out-of-home care is understood by professionals involved in making decisions about the permanent placement of children in out-of-home care in Victoria, Australia, where adoption is rarely used. Data were collected through a single, face-to-face semi-structured interview with 21 professionals; eight child welfare specialists, eight adoption and permanent care specialists and five judicial officers. The adoption of children from out-of-home care was primarily understood as a child-centered practice that can afford children stability and a sense of belonging. Adoption was largely viewed as a voluntary process dependent upon the consent of a child's birth parents. Adoption and permanent care specialists were the only group to refer to the dispensation of parental consent as a means of obtaining an adoption order. Most decision makers understood that contact between children and their birth parents is possible following adoption, but this was not understood by all judicial officers or all child welfare specialists. Children's connection to their cultural heritage was viewed as important to the consideration of adoption for children in out-of-home care. This research provides insight into the foundations upon which decision makers may appraise adoption, within a hierarchy of options, as a potential outcome for children in need of permanency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-130
Number of pages11
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume72
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Adoption
  • Children
  • Out-of-home care

Cite this

@article{5066311b40a84fae90810baca5ca5d0f,
title = "The adoption of children from out-of-home care: The understandings of key decision makers in Victoria, Australia",
abstract = "Adoption is one of a range of options that can provide children in out-of-home care with permanency when they are unable to be reunified with their birth parents. This paper reports on how the adoption of children from out-of-home care is understood by professionals involved in making decisions about the permanent placement of children in out-of-home care in Victoria, Australia, where adoption is rarely used. Data were collected through a single, face-to-face semi-structured interview with 21 professionals; eight child welfare specialists, eight adoption and permanent care specialists and five judicial officers. The adoption of children from out-of-home care was primarily understood as a child-centered practice that can afford children stability and a sense of belonging. Adoption was largely viewed as a voluntary process dependent upon the consent of a child's birth parents. Adoption and permanent care specialists were the only group to refer to the dispensation of parental consent as a means of obtaining an adoption order. Most decision makers understood that contact between children and their birth parents is possible following adoption, but this was not understood by all judicial officers or all child welfare specialists. Children's connection to their cultural heritage was viewed as important to the consideration of adoption for children in out-of-home care. This research provides insight into the foundations upon which decision makers may appraise adoption, within a hierarchy of options, as a potential outcome for children in need of permanency.",
keywords = "Adoption, Children, Out-of-home care",
author = "Anna Butlinski and Heather Rowe and Christopher Goddard and Nicholas Freezer",
year = "2017",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.07.011",
language = "English",
volume = "72",
pages = "120--130",
journal = "Child Abuse and Neglect",
issn = "0145-2134",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

The adoption of children from out-of-home care : The understandings of key decision makers in Victoria, Australia. / Butlinski, Anna; Rowe, Heather; Goddard, Christopher; Freezer, Nicholas.

In: Child Abuse and Neglect, Vol. 72, 01.10.2017, p. 120-130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The adoption of children from out-of-home care

T2 - The understandings of key decision makers in Victoria, Australia

AU - Butlinski, Anna

AU - Rowe, Heather

AU - Goddard, Christopher

AU - Freezer, Nicholas

PY - 2017/10/1

Y1 - 2017/10/1

N2 - Adoption is one of a range of options that can provide children in out-of-home care with permanency when they are unable to be reunified with their birth parents. This paper reports on how the adoption of children from out-of-home care is understood by professionals involved in making decisions about the permanent placement of children in out-of-home care in Victoria, Australia, where adoption is rarely used. Data were collected through a single, face-to-face semi-structured interview with 21 professionals; eight child welfare specialists, eight adoption and permanent care specialists and five judicial officers. The adoption of children from out-of-home care was primarily understood as a child-centered practice that can afford children stability and a sense of belonging. Adoption was largely viewed as a voluntary process dependent upon the consent of a child's birth parents. Adoption and permanent care specialists were the only group to refer to the dispensation of parental consent as a means of obtaining an adoption order. Most decision makers understood that contact between children and their birth parents is possible following adoption, but this was not understood by all judicial officers or all child welfare specialists. Children's connection to their cultural heritage was viewed as important to the consideration of adoption for children in out-of-home care. This research provides insight into the foundations upon which decision makers may appraise adoption, within a hierarchy of options, as a potential outcome for children in need of permanency.

AB - Adoption is one of a range of options that can provide children in out-of-home care with permanency when they are unable to be reunified with their birth parents. This paper reports on how the adoption of children from out-of-home care is understood by professionals involved in making decisions about the permanent placement of children in out-of-home care in Victoria, Australia, where adoption is rarely used. Data were collected through a single, face-to-face semi-structured interview with 21 professionals; eight child welfare specialists, eight adoption and permanent care specialists and five judicial officers. The adoption of children from out-of-home care was primarily understood as a child-centered practice that can afford children stability and a sense of belonging. Adoption was largely viewed as a voluntary process dependent upon the consent of a child's birth parents. Adoption and permanent care specialists were the only group to refer to the dispensation of parental consent as a means of obtaining an adoption order. Most decision makers understood that contact between children and their birth parents is possible following adoption, but this was not understood by all judicial officers or all child welfare specialists. Children's connection to their cultural heritage was viewed as important to the consideration of adoption for children in out-of-home care. This research provides insight into the foundations upon which decision makers may appraise adoption, within a hierarchy of options, as a potential outcome for children in need of permanency.

KW - Adoption

KW - Children

KW - Out-of-home care

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85026879142&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.07.011

DO - 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.07.011

M3 - Article

VL - 72

SP - 120

EP - 130

JO - Child Abuse and Neglect

JF - Child Abuse and Neglect

SN - 0145-2134

ER -