The Circulation of Children
This introductory chapter briefly explores transnational adoption as an evolving historical phenomenon that reflects new attitudes toward children and childhood, particularly within the sphere of transnational politics (i.e. in the context of war and similar) and in light of new reproductive methods and alternative social constructions of family. Shaped by the forces of colonialism and globalization, adoption was transformed over the twentieth century from an institution of labor similar to apprenticeship, or a form of inheritance involving the appointment of a legal heir, by the uneven emergence of this new notion that children are innocent, in need of special protection, and deserving of shelter from life's harshness.
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