Adera childcare is a community-based kinship type of care arrangement that has been practiced in many parts of Ethiopia for years. Research evidences indicate that this practice avails alternative care and support that make important contribution in the life and development of children. However, some evidences also indicate that there are concerns and challenges that would compromise the quality and contribution of care particularly compared to experiences of the intact family care. Hence, there is a need to explore the family dynamics that is at work in households hosting both Adera and biological children together. This study attempted to examine this dynamics beginning from the time the children were inducted into the new home. A total of 36 Adera children, a corresponding 36 biological children and 9 parents were selected as participants of the research. While questionnaire was administered to the children to solicit opinions about their relationship with parents and their siblings, interview was held with parents regarding the behavior of Adera children, their treatment of the Adera children and their own biological children. Extended case narratives were also captured from two former Adera children (now Adults) to enrich the data obtained through interview. Findings generally indicated that the Adera care arrangement cannot be viewed as a unitary practice, having uniform arrangements, making similar kinds of provisions, and with only one type (positive or negative) of outcome across the board. Rather, it is multifaceted in practice and impacts; in our present case suggesting both encouraging as well as discouraging results when read respectively from parents’ and children’s perspectives. Hence, its arrangement needs to be participatory enough to involve all the stakeholders (parents, biological children, and the Adera children) at the time the Adera family is to be established rather than making the Adera arrangement only with one of the parents as it has been culturally practiced.
Key words: Adera, community-based care, kinship care, alternative childcare, orphaned and vulnerable children, family-based care.
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