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International AdoptionGlobal Inequalities and the Circulation of Children$
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Diana Marre and Laura Briggs

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814791011

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814791011.001.0001

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Routes to the Roots

Routes to the Roots

Toward an Anthropology of Genealogical Practices

(p.244) Chapter 13 Routes to the Roots
International Adoption

Caroline Legrand

NYU Press

This chapter explores how the search for ancestral “roots” differs between transnational adoptees and the descendants of immigrants. Drawing on ethnographic data collected in France, Ireland, and Québec, this chapter constructs an anthropology of genealogical practices. Given that reclaiming the culture of origin does not hold the same meanings for members of each group, the two groups construct distinct relationships to genealogical memory and knowledge. The chapter examines what hides behind these “routes to the roots” projects by exploring questions of who owns the rights to investigate their ancestry. Furthermore, it looks into the ways in which adoptive parents and even state institutions can benefit from exploring the genealogies of adopted or emigrated citizens.

Keywords:   genealogical practices, adoptive children, immigrant children, genealogy, ancestry, transnational adoptees, immigrant descendants

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