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The “Best Interest of the Child”: A Critical Look at Complexity and Responsibility in Child Apprehension and Adoption

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Title: The “Best Interest of the Child”: A Critical Look at Complexity and Responsibility in Child Apprehension and Adoption
Author: Van Arragon, Angela
Department: Department of Philosophy
Program: Philosophy
Advisor: Houle, Karen
Abstract: This thesis is an investigation of the ethical implications of the practice of the removal children from birth mothers by child protective services, and the subsequent adoption of these children by other families. Using Michel Foucault’s method of discourse analysis, this thesis examines some of the language commonly used in discussion about child apprehension and adoption, terms such as “best interest of the child’, and “voluntary and involuntary relinquishment” to see how the use of these terms can create an understanding of the phenomenon that is not reflective of the reality and complexity of experience. By looking to the understanding of moral responsibility as put forward by Emanuel Levinas, this thesis considers some preliminary ways that child apprehension can be considered in ways that are more responsible and inclusive.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9619
Date: 2016-05
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