This article considers the practices of kinship amongst lesbian and gay foster-carers and adopters, and asks how far these have challenged dominant genealogical discourses. It asks not how existing social work practice can be adjusted to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexuality, but rather how the practices of lesbian and gay carers can be drawn upon to expand the genealogical visions of state foster-care and adoption work. The author discusses the methods by which lesbian and gay carers have challenged heteronormative views of adult relationships, the idea of 'natural' parenting, conventional state child welfare models, the biogenetic basis of adult-child bonds, notions of the proper 'family', and the supposedly non-political nature of heterosexual kinship. Finally, the article asks how foster-care and adoption practice might learn from the new forms of intimacy, care and parenting developed by lesbians and gay men.
- Gay men
- Social work