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Identity issues for looked after children with no knowledge of their origins: implications for research and practice

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Abstract:

In the area of child care policy and practice, the benefits for children who are separated from their birth parents of maintaining some form of connection with their family of origin is now widely accepted. The arguments in support of this are found mainly in research concerning adoption and stem from four inter-related themes: children's rights to know of their heritage and background; parents' rights to information about the well-being of their children; the benefits of having knowledge about origins; and concerns about the impact of not knowing. The effects on the developing identities of those who, for various reasons, are unlikely ever to know the details of their birth parent(s) is an under-researched issue. Karen Winter and Olivia Cohen use a case study to illustrate some of the gaps concerning knowledge in this area. They argue that there is much to be learnt from the development of research projects which have as their focus the accounts of children and young people, from a wide range of care arrangements, regarding identity issues where they have no connections with or knowledge about their birth parent(s).

Keywords: ADOPTION; IDENTITY; LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN; SEARCHING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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