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The role of ‘family practices’ and ‘displays of family’ in the creation of adoptive kinship

Jones, C.; Hackett, S.

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C. Jones


Adoption has changed significantly over the last four decades, placing new demands on those affected by adoption, including adopters, adoptees and birth relatives (i.e. the ‘adoption triangle’), as well as the professionals involved. Over the same period, sociological theories relating to the family have developed considerably, yet their application to adoptive family relationships has been limited. This paper reports the findings of an in-depth narrative study of twenty-two parents who adopted children over a twenty-four-year period, linking their experiences to the sociological concepts of ‘family practices’ and ‘displaying family’. A common challenge shared by adoptive parents following domestic stranger adoption in an era of increasing openness was the requirement to create a new version of kinship that includes both adoptive relatives and birth relatives within the conceptual model of the adoptive family as well as the day-to-day ‘doing’ of family. The relevance of findings are explored in relation to adoptive family life, adoption practice and, specifically, post-adoption support services.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2011
Deposit Date Oct 23, 2010
Publicly Available Date Feb 24, 2012
Journal British Journal of Social Work
Print ISSN 0045-3102
Electronic ISSN 1468-263X
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 1
Pages 40-56
Keywords Adoption, Openness, Kinship, Family practices.
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (589 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British journal of social work following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Jones, C. and Hackett, S. (2011) 'The role of 'family practices' and 'displays of family' in the creation of adoptive kinship.', British journal of social work., 41 (1). pp. 40-56 is available online at:

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