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Title: The paradoxes of adoption
Author: Sales, Sally
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 7122
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2008
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The move to open adoption in the late eighties has been a contested and controversial transformation in the field of adoption, proliferating research studies to both support and oppose its implementation. Rather than making a further contribution to such research, this thesis goes in a different direction and sets out to interrogate the field of contestation itself. Drawing on Foucault's genealogical approach, part I of this study identifies how the paradox of original kinship has operated to both secure and destabilise adoption's substitute status. My analysis shows how adoption is constituted through this paralysing paradox, where the involvements of birth family are both invited and contested. This genealogy of adoption makes an original methodological contribution to the field in establishing a new way of theorising adoption history and practices. In part II this study considers whether open adoption installs a different technology of the adopted subject. Foucault's notion of technologies of the self has been central to my analysis of how one local authority adoption team theorise and implement open practices through the nineties. This archive study shows how open adoption as a set of practices potentially reworks the paralysing place that original kinship occupies by extending the traditional parameters of family belonging. The involvements of birth family in contemporary time challenge and remake the usual ties of family, producing a new technology of the adopted subject, an identity position less bound by original kinship and the hermeneutical knowledges that it inscribes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available