A pool of four social workers will be recruited. This will be done by first listing all the adopting agencies within my borough and randomly selecting four of them. From each of the four institutions we will choose only one social worker based on the following criteria: the most experienced and long serving social worker, a person who began working before the year 2005 when same sex adoption became legal in England and Wales under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Samuel, 2010), a social worker who has worked with any of the same sex couples through the adoption requirement procedures and a person who is willing to be interviewed and will give accurate and unbiased information. I will conduct an interview for each of the four social workers within their institutions. Each interview will take only fifteen minutes done twice per week due to high volumes of work that these social workers do. A period of two to three weeks will be enough to collect data from the social workers when we also consider their availability or impromptu assignments.
Our methodology will focus on obtaining information on the attitude of adoption association and agencies towards same sex couples in the UK especially on whether a child adopted by them would be the same compared to children adopted by heterosexual couples. Therefore, I will involve three tools during the interviews. They include the use of questionnaire, doing an oral or informal interview and performing a thematic analysis.
The first tool will be providing a self –completion questionnaire. The questionnaire will contain questions that will help in getting views. Statement and policies that these social workers and their social service institutions possess regarding same sex adoption. It will be presented on the first interview session hence will help provide an overview opinion about the issue. The questions will revolve around in knowing the period that the social worker has worked in the adoption agencies. The study would want to know if he or she has been assigned to any of the same sex couples who wanted to adopt children. It would also ask the social worker to rate the adoption strategies and success by the same sex couples compared to the heterosexual couples. Most questions will mostly need ‘Yes’ or ‘NO’ answers for questions about their agencies or personal stand on the issue, ever felt uncomfortable working with the same sex couples, if they have ever done a follow-up on the children that have been adopted and if he would allow his children to be adopted by the same sex couples. The questions will be short, simple and clear to understand. The questionnaire will be given to social worker under the study and will be given a private time to go through the questionnaire and answer it. I will be there to provide clarity and guarantee him or her confidentiality of the information. The questionnaire will not ask for the name of the interviewee so as to protect his or her identity.
In the subsequent session, an informal interview will be done. This would be a follow-up to the questionnaire that has been filled up. The interview will provide full responses and description of the issue that is studied. Instead of the short and straight to the point questions that are in the questionnaire, the interview will ask open-ended questions. Discussion will also be carried out with the interviewee. The interview will illustrate the experiences that the social worker has gone through, his response and opinion on the whole issue. These are the people who have worked with the same sex couples in order to ensure the best environment for upbringing of the adopted children. The interview will also involve audio recording, tape recording, note taking or recording, and later transcription of the recorded interview. The social worker will informed of these tools before beginning the interview and asked for consent.
The interview will ask the social worker to describe the procedures and policies involved in securing adoption for both same sex and heterosexual couples. I will ask the social work to narrate his experience while working with the same sex adoption couples. Parenting competency of the same sex couples will be investigated by asking the social worker to rate their parenting strategies compared to heterosexual parents, the relationship of these couples with the children and their response. Due to the fact that one of the requirement for the social worker in this study is to have worked before 2005, any parent who might have adopted an infant by the time it became legal for same sex couples to adopt, would have an adopted child who is at least nine years. Therefore, the social worker will be asked to describe development behavior of these children in the same sex family compared to those in heterosexual families. Information on their identity and self awareness in terms of gender will also be asked assuming that these workers monitor these kids and they interact with them. Their performance in schools will also be investigated especial with those put under adoption were between four to eight years old. The social workers will be asked to provide information and opinions regarding children who were adopted while still in primary through to secondary education. Information would include their gender inclination, confidence, cases of abuse and teasing and their views about their adoptive parents. All these information will be extracted from all the social workers interviewed.
Thereafter a thematic analysis will be carried out using the transcribed responses from the interview and the questionnaire. The research will be interested in obtaining specific themes that will be coded using phrases and words then categorizing (Gibbs, 2007). Each statement and tone will be studied carefully to identify ideas and views, fear and appreciation of the issue under study exhibited by the social worker. The analysis will include the following thematic codes: better character development of the adopted children, good or bad parenting, academic performance of the children, comfortable working with the same sex couples, same sex couples are similar to heterosexual couples, policy discrimination, cases of abuse and bullying, children’s social interaction, willingness to give children for adoption by same sex couples and future risks, for example gender inclination of children to homosexuality.
Gibbs, G. (2007). 4 Thematic coding and categorizing. Analyzing Qualitative Data. London: SAGE Publications, Ltd
Samuel, Z. (2010). In Practice: Adoption for Gay and Lesbian Couples. Manchester: Jordan Publishing Limited