Respecting children’s identities and relationships in adoption

Annual Adoption Lecture 2021: Respecting children’s relationships and identities in adoption, with Professor Beth Neil.

For the large majority of children, adoption confers lifelong relationships and a sense of belonging in the adoptive family. But adoption also involves the legal severance of the child from the birth family and often the loss of key relationships with birth family members and others, including foster carers, who have had important roles in the child’s life. With this comes the loss of the child’s identity as a member of their birth family community. Each of these losses can have lifelong impact. This presentation explores these losses and ways in which they might be eased, including the role of adoptive parents in providing a secure base from which children can explore their identities and relationships. 

The lecture will be based on a chapter in a book that Prof Neil has recently written:

Beek, Mary and Neil, Elsbeth (2020) Respecting children’s relationships and identities in adoption. In: The Routledge Handbook of Adoption. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, Abingdon and New York, pp. 76-89. ISBN 978-1-138-36250-5

Presented by

Professor Beth Neil
School of Social Work
University of East Anglia