Skip to the content

"Good lesbian, bad lesbian...": Regulating heterosexuality in fostering and adoption assessments

Hicks, S 2000, '"Good lesbian, bad lesbian...": Regulating heterosexuality in fostering and adoption assessments' , Child & Family Social Work, 5 (2) , pp. 157-168.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (165kB)

    Abstract

    The paper examines the assessment of lesbians who apply to foster or adopt, using data generated from 30 interviews with local authority social workers. Using feminist and queer theories, the author suggests that lesbian applicants pose a challenge to the discourse of 'compulsory gender and heterosexuality' which structures fostering and adoption work. It is argued that this discourse relies upon a series of assumptions about the automatic fitness of heterosexual applicants, especially concerning the idea of gender and sexuality role models needed for children's development. Further, this 'heteronormative' discourse relies upon the continuing need to make 'other' the categories 'lesbian' or 'gay'. The article considers how 'the lesbian' is constructed as a 'threat', as 'militant', or as 'automatically safe' in assessments, and makes the point that social work is productive of versions of the lesbian subject. The author argues that only certain versions are likely to be approved to foster or adopt, particularly that which is termed 'the good lesbian'.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: adoption, assessment, fostering, homosexuality, lesbians, social work
    Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ1101 Women. Feminism
    Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
    Subjects outside of the University Themes
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
    Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Justice Research
    Journal or Publication Title: Child & Family Social Work
    Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 1356-7500
    Depositing User: Dr Stephen Hicks
    Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2009 10:19
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:59
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/2282

    Actions (login required)

    Edit record (repository staff only)

    No Altmetrics available

    Downloads per month over past year

    View more statistics