Securing permanence for children in care: A cross-country analysis of citizen's view on adoption versus foster care
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionChild & Family Social Work. 2022. 10.1111/cfs.12974
If children in child protection cannot be cared for by their natural parents, should they be adopted or live in foster home? Results from a study of representative samples of populations (n = 12 330), in eight European countries—Austria, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Spain—and California, USA, reveal that people would recommend adoption over foster care, if a child in public care cannot grow up with their natural parent(s). There are cross-country differences between populations, and examining if institutional context such as type of child protection system explains differences, we find that child maltreatment-oriented systems are more supportive of adoption than other types of systems. Citizens having little confidence in the child protection system were only weakly correlated with preference for adoption. In conclusion, people prefer adoption as placement options for children in care are more than foster homes, and possible this finding reflects a sort of refamalialization of children into the private sphere.