Assessment of prospective adoptive parents 

Before getting a consent to adopt a child, prospective adoptive parents have to be subject to a process of vetting and assessment by a qualified social worker. Part of the assessment entails a series of interviews between the applicant(s) and the social worker. Through  this procedure, the state (i.e. Sweden) shall guarantee that adoptive children  will be placed in good circumstances and “comes to parents who are well prepared, eligible and suitable” (National Board of Health and Welfare 2009:17). But what means to be prepared, eligible and suitable? And further on, how is those qualifications being assessed? This is focus of my research. I am in particular interested in institutional encounters, in which citizens and professionals meet, and further on how things are being negotiated in dialogue.  

My research is part of a lager research project that concern norms of good parenting and family ideals. In my research, I am focusing on how good parenting is presented, discussed and negotiated in the assessment of prospective adoptive parents. Further on, I examine what is required of  adoptive applicants in the assessment process and how this can be understood in relation to greater discourses about parenting and childhood. 


Member of DANASWAC (Discourse and narrative approaches to social work and counselling)


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Preparing for parenthood

Adoption assessment as an institutional process. 

Becoming a parent involves a highly private decision. However, adults who want to adopt a child are asked to open their private lives to the institutional gaze. Prior to the adoption, prospective adoptive parents must participate in mandatory parenting courses and reveal their inner concerns and feelings to the scrutiny of social services. The assessment process is motivated by the societal concern to protect the adoptive child’s rights and to secure the best interests of the child. Encounters between the professionals and the individual citizen become a crucial locus for assessment of what a child needs in order to develop optimally and of what applicants need to know, how they need to act and talk in order to prove their capabilities as adoptive parents. In parenting courses and assessment interviews such requirements and otherwise implicit expectations become visible, simultaneously creating a normative framework for the institutional decision of people’s suitability for adoptive parenthood.

This project aims to examine the assessment of prospective parenthood as an institutional process. The focus is: how the professionals (responsible for parenting courses and assessment interviews) and prospective parents produce or negotiate knowledge, taken for granted norms and notions characterizing suitable parenthood.

Project financed by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.

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  • 2013
    Master in Social work, Linköping University
  • 2011-2014
    Social Worker / Counselor
  • 2011
    Bachelor in Social Worker, Linköping University,


Preparing for parenthood. Adoption assessment as an institutional process.(Project leader: Cecilia Lindgren)


Teaches at the Social Work Programme, Teachers Program and Pre-school Teacher Programme at Linkoping University. I supervise students in the Masters programme on Child Studies.

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