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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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International Adoption

International Adoption

Lessons from Hawai’i

(p.52) Chapter 2 International Adoption
International Adoption

Judith Schachter

NYU Press

This chapter draws attention to the power of the state to define adoption and considers how families whose culture differs from that of the dominant society navigate the system in order to enact alternative definitions of kinship. It juxtaposes the legal form of plenary adoption, in which the adoptee's previous kinship ties are severed, with indigenous forms of adoption and fosterage, which augment rather than erase the child's kin-based identity. The chapter's micro-analysis of a complex Native Hawaiian family in this island state illuminates how indigenous people negotiate the contradictions between colonial legacies and cultural traditions, and presents a view of adoption and identity that emphasizes the link between ways of having children and the conjoining of diverse sources of identity.

Keywords:   Hawai'i, plenary adoption, fosterage, kin-based identity, alternative kinships, colonial legacies, cultural traditions

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