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Adoption wars: inequality, child welfare and (social) justice

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This article analyses the conflicts over adoption in England, focusing primarily on the reform programme during the years of coalition and subsequent Conservative governments, but recognising important historical antecedents and wider contexts. Various facets of adoption policy are considered, including processes through which children become available for adoption, alternative avenues for ‘permanence’, legal contestation, ‘openness’, approval of adoptive parents and the organisation of the adoption system. These, in turn, are examined in the contexts of inequalities and (social) justice, and future prospects are considered. It is argued that while ‘adoption wars’ have their own distinct features, they demonstrate significant alignment with the wider ‘culture wars’ between conservative/orthodox and liberal/progressive values.
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Keywords: adoption; child welfare; inequality; social justice

Affiliations: University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Appeared or available online: March 29, 2019

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