Lessons from Hawai’i
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.
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