This qualitative study analyses the emotions of fear and anxiety as experienced by prospective adoptive parents receiving pre-adoption services. The article draws on 19 narrative interviews with men and women who have pursued an adoption process in seeking to adopt a child from overseas. The findings suggest that the experience of fear was connected with the risk of losing a wanted child through rejection in the assessment procedure or a termination of the process, and also with a loss of control in their position as clients. The prospective parents strive to balance anxiety and hope through their own emotional engagement, while the professionals involved play an important role in regulating those emotions. Further, the fear and anxiety in this situation lead to an inhibition of both negative emotions in interactions with professionals and of engaging with them in a truly open, trusting and reflective relationship.
Fields of Science
- 5145 Social work