Foster motherhood experience in Turkey: intensive and precarious motherhood

Kalkan, Gizem
This thesis aims to analyze the foster care motherhood experience in Turkey as a transformative and emotional experience, aiming to answer the question of how the implementation of the foster care policy shapes the foster motherhood experience in Turkey. Along with the familialization of the care policies, the number of foster care families sharply increased starting from the year of 2012, and, in this policy, caregivers are designed as mothers by the government. However, the foster mother’s motivation for becoming a mother contradicts the temporary aspect of the policy. To analyze mothers’ experiences and emotions, a qualitative study was conducted from a feminist standpoint. In this framework, fifteen in-depth interviews were made with the mothers who were reached through the İstanbul Foster Family Foundation by using snowball sampling. It is found that mothers are experiencing motherhood without enough support from their communities and MoFSS institutions. Meanwhile, many mothers are anxious about the biological family relationships and other critical procedures as they are not standardized and regulated well. As a result, the mothers are finding themselves imprisoned in a precarious motherhood experience with the responsibility of care and protection of a child with special needs knowing their children’s future are on their hands. Consequently, they either create their ways of protecting their families and/or transform themselves in their experience. At the policy implementation level, providing a transforming and more flexible legal status to the mothers and psychological support is recommended at the end of this study.


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Citation Formats
G. Kalkan, “Foster motherhood experience in Turkey: intensive and precarious motherhood,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.