Adoptive families’ return trips to the children’s birth countries

While transnational adoptees previously conducted return trips as young adults, today many children go on adoption return trips together with their adoptive parents.

To capture the complexity that surrounds families’ adoption return trips, my dissertation employed a combination of theories and methods from child and childhood studies and family studies with tourism research and economic sociology. The study focused on questions relating to how children and their parents reason about the decision to conduct an adoption return trip, the planning of the trip’s content and their experiences of the trip. The study shows that both children and parents are involved in planning and implementing the adoption return trips.

Adoption return trips are created in interactions between children and their parents, involving recommendations for adoption return trips, hopes, conditions, opportunities, risks and, not least, individual fears. In this way, the study challenges general ideas that adoption return trips are exclusively for the benefit of the adoptee and suggests that we need to understand these trips as a joint family project. In addition, the study shows that family adoption return trips are the result of dynamic family processes that create and actualise values and ideas about family life, parenthood, children, holidays and money – and that children are part of how such values and ideals are created.

Foster care

For the past year, I have been working on projects related to foster care in the Swedish context. Together with a colleague, I carried out an evaluation of a joint foster care organization.

Children, parents and families

I am theoretically interested in issues concerning children, parenthood and family. In my research, I mainly work with qualitative interview methods. Among other things, I am interested in methodological issues concerning children's voices.

Network for social and cultural research on babies and young children

I am the coordinator of an international network that gathers researchers engaged in social and cultural research on babies and young children. The network has a current focus on issues concerning the youngest children and the Covid-19 pandemic with the future ambition to focus on a broader range of issues concerning the youngest children in child and childhood research.



Anna Sparrman, Yelyzaveta Hrechaniuk, Olga Anatoli Smith (Ivanova), Klara Andersson, Deniz Arzuk, Johanna Annerbäck, Linnea Bodén, Mindy Blaise, Claudia Castañeda, Rebecca Coleman, Florian Eßer, Matt Finn, Daniel Gustafsson, Peter Holmqvist, Jonathan Josefsson, Peter Kraftl, Nick Lee, Karín Lesnik-Oberstein, Sarah Mitchell, Karin Murris, Alex Orrmalm, David Oswell, Alan Prout, Rachel Rosen, Katherine Runswick-Cole, Johanna Sjöberg, Karen Smith, Spyros Spyrou, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Affrica Taylor, Ohad Zehavi, Emilia Zotevska (2023) Child Studies Multiple: Collaborative play for thinking through theories and methods Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, Vol. 15 Continue to DOI




CV in short

  • 2014
    Linköping university, Linköping. PhD-student Child Studies.
  • 2012-2014
    Linköping University, Linköping. Degree of Master of Social and Welfare studies, 120 credits
  • 2009-2012
    Linköping University, Linköping. Degree of Bachelor of Tourism studies, 180 credits

Research interest

  • Qualitative interview methods
  • Child perspective and children’s perspectives
  • Parenthood and family

Conference participation

2018 Child and Teen Consumption (CTC), Cultural and Creative Industries of Childhood and Youth, Angouleme, 2-6 April, France. Presentation: ‘Adoption return trips – commercial trips or authentic experiences?’