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)