Using findings from The Role of the Social Worker in Adoption – Ethics and Human Rights: An Enquiry, commissioned by the British Association of Social Workers, the following article presents a number of emerging themes regarding post-adoption contact and support in the UK. Three hundred individuals and 13 organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland contributed to the enquiry and the data were analysed thematically. Within this article we will address some of the challenges regarding post-adoption contact and locate these within broader, often unexamined, concerns about poverty and inequalities. Drawing on sociological literature on ‘family practices’ and ‘displaying family’, we will consider both the status of adoption and the realities of carrying out post-adoption contact in an age of ever-increasing complexities in relationships. In doing so, we will explore how those involved in adoption carry out such practices, as well as the implications for professionals tasked with facilitating contact.
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