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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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Return Journeys and the Search for Roots

Return Journeys and the Search for Roots

Contradictory Values Concerning Identity

(p.256) Chapter 14 Return Journeys and the Search for Roots
International Adoption

Signe Howell

NYU Press

This chapter reconsiders the questions that adoption raises about the European–American distinction between biological and social kinship. When adoption takes place between different countries—especially when the children look different from their new parents and kin, as they do when they are moved from countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to Europe and North America—questions of identity, belonging, race, ethnicity, and culture are on the agenda. It is impossible for transnationally adopted persons and their parents to avoid confronting them and the contradictions to which they often give rise. Thus, offering a theoretical framework that elucidates the transformations involved in transnational, transcultural, transracial adoption, this chapter illuminates the meanings of adoption for the social construction of kinship.

Keywords:   kinships, biological kinship, social kinship, Europe, North America, transnational adoption, transcultural adoption, transracial adoption

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