'Somewhere out there': Parental claiming in the preadoption waiting period.

Journal Article (Academic article)

Describes the process of parental claiming expressed in multiple interviews conducted with 35 infertile couples waiting to adopt a child. Childwaiting, as opposed to childbearing, couples have no due date nor any positive signs that they are in fact having a child. There are no culturally sanctioned rituals, ceremonies, practices, or artifacts distinctly associated with the preadoption waiting period. Parental claiming is the special kind of emotional and intellectual work that adopting couples do prior to placement to make someone else's child "somewhere out there" their own. It involves creating an object to claim, undermining the primacy of blood ties, and transforming someone else's child into the right child for them. This kind of work is particularly important to social actors who inspire to statuses to which they know they are not clearly entitled.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sandelowski, M; Harris, BG; Holditch Davis, D

Published Date

  • January 1, 1993

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 464 - 486

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0891-2416

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/089124193021004003