Genealogies of Inequality: Transnational Adoption and Kinship in the Era of Globalisation

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2019) | Viewed by 16793

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Social Sciences, Sociology, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
Interests: globalisation; global inequality; qualitative research; changing family forms; transnational adoption; circulation of body parts

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ten years ago Diana Marre and Laura Briggs edited an important book “International Adoption. Global Inequalities and the Circulation of Children” which in addition to the more usual perspectives of adopting parents and countries highlighted adoption from the point of view of the countries and families of origin and made visible the vexed connections between the two. It is indeed no longer possible to leave out the two ends and the discrepancy between them in material, social and political circumstances when studying transnational adoption. Since then inequalities both within and between countries have escalated and the increased global circulation of goods, ideas, images, money and people has profoundly changed the way people in different countries experience and imagine their place in the world. This special issue of Genealogy entitled “Genealogies of Inequality: Transnational Adoption and Kinship in the Era of Globalisation” seeks to provide an update on the influences of globalisation and inequalities within transnational adoption. It will explore the repercussions of the increased global connectivity for adoption practices and experiences. What are the effects of the increasingly crisscrossing paths and intermingling of what could be termed the West and the rest? This issue also focuses on the ways in which the global makes itself felt in the intimate sphere of the family. What are the impacts of global connectivity and multiple inequalities on adoptive kinship? How do those involved in adoption experience and imagine their own and each other’s positions? How is kinship affected as digitalisation and increased awareness of the two genealogies in adoption create new possibilities for contact? The aim is to explore the interconnections between the families reassembled and disassembled through adoption, as well as between the countries and cultures of destination and origin differentially positioned in the current world order.

Here are some potential themes that the papers for this issue may but do not have to consider:

  • The impact of global inequalities on adoptive family relations
  • Intersectional inequalities in transnational adoption
  • Global connectivity discourses (a term by Priti Ramamurthy) in transnational adoption
  • Global encounters and influences in transnational adoption
  • Perspectives of the families of origin
  • Adoptees’ experiences of the global in their lives
  • Adoptive parents’ narratives of global connectivity and inequality
  • Open transnational adoptions, reunions, searching
  • The impact of digitalisation, the media and the currently popular movement to track one’s family history on transnational adoptive families
  • Global child care and transnational adoption
  • How globalisation changes the family and/or how the family moulds globalisation

Dr. Riitta Högbacka
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Transnational adoption
  • Globalisation
  • Inequality
  • Global connectivity discourses
  • Open adoption
  • Family
  • Kinship
  • Adoptive parents
  • Adoptees
  • Birth parents

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

24 pages, 640 KiB  
Article
Group and Child–Family Migration from Central America to the United States: Forced Child–Family Separation, Reunification, and Pseudo Adoption in the Era of Globalization
by Carmen Monico and Jovani Mendez-Sandoval
Genealogy 2019, 3(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3040068 - 4 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4959
Abstract
Intercountry adoption from Latin America became a sizable, “quiet” migration to the U.S., as evident in its historical evolution from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The recent migration of unaccompanied minors and families traveling with children from these case countries has been characterized [...] Read more.
Intercountry adoption from Latin America became a sizable, “quiet” migration to the U.S., as evident in its historical evolution from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The recent migration of unaccompanied minors and families traveling with children from these case countries has been characterized by child–family separation, prolonged detention and institutionalization of children, and adoption through various means. This study has been concerned with how both trends became intertwined in the era of globalisation. To address this question, the authors examined intercountry adoption literature and migration-related briefs, legal claims, and news reports. The study suggests that internationally recognized child rights have been violated in the border crisis. Forced family separation resulting from stricter immigration measures has met criteria for child abduction, violating international convention protecting families in transnational kinship and adoption. A child–family separation typology was inferred from individual case studies ranging from separation by death to prolonged or indefinitive separation to de facto adoption. Reunification has failed for migrant children in custody since relatives or kinship members may be undocumented or parents may be deported. The current immigration system for migrant children’s care only prolongs their detention and violates their human and civil rights while turning child abduction into de facto adoption. Full article
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14 pages, 560 KiB  
Article
Papering the Origins: Place-Making, Privacy, and Kinship in Spanish International Adoption
by Jessaca Leinaweaver
Genealogy 2019, 3(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3040050 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3395
Abstract
This article examines place and privacy as two key resources for producing kinship through an analysis of exceptional legal practices in Spain that overdetermine international adoptees’ Spanishness. Per Spanish law, minors internationally adopted by a Spanish parent are “Spanish by origin” (españoles de [...] Read more.
This article examines place and privacy as two key resources for producing kinship through an analysis of exceptional legal practices in Spain that overdetermine international adoptees’ Spanishness. Per Spanish law, minors internationally adopted by a Spanish parent are “Spanish by origin” (españoles de origen). Over and above this, however, Spain’s Civil Registry Law was modified in 2005 to allow internationally adoptive parents to officially change their child’s place of birth in the formal record. I draw on legal material about this change, as well as online posts by adoptive parents discussing it, to make two claims. First, I identify the significance of place as a key resource for the production of kinship—belonging to a Spanish family and nation. Second, I note the persistence of an ideology of secrecy or privacy surrounding the family that is linked to a history of illicit child circulations during the Franco era. I further show that documents are a key nexus mediating the place–kinship and privacy–kinship relations, requiring further attention to both legal documentation and the proliferation of public personal narratives, such as blog posts, as evidence of family dynamics. Full article
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15 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
Eating the [M]Other: Exploring Swedish Adoption Consumption Fantasies
by Richey Wyver
Genealogy 2019, 3(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3030047 - 4 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 7863
Abstract
Drawing on bell hooks’ classic essay Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance, this article discusses ethnic consumption fantasies of white Swedish international adopters. The article uses deconstructive narrative analysis techniques to explore racial desires concealed and revealed in adopters’ descriptions of international [...] Read more.
Drawing on bell hooks’ classic essay Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance, this article discusses ethnic consumption fantasies of white Swedish international adopters. The article uses deconstructive narrative analysis techniques to explore racial desires concealed and revealed in adopters’ descriptions of international transracial adoptee bodies in published Swedish adoption texts. Taking the use of food race metaphors (for example, almond eyes, chocolate skin) as a “positive” means of describing race differences in a supposedly post-race, colour-blind discourse as a starting point, the article discusses how ethnic consumption desires are reflective of white adopter fantasies of becoming something more than white Swedish, and even a bit “Other” themselves. The symbolic consumption of both the adoptee and the first mother enable the adopter to imagine internalising a spirit of primordial Otherness, which can fundamentally change them and enable them to step outside the confines of Swedish whiteness. It also gives them a claim to a connection with the adoptee that goes beyond biology. While the desire to consume the adoptee-Other body is imagined as progressive and anti-racist, this paper argues that such fantasies are dependent on maintaining and reinforcing the status quo of the white supremacist patriarchal structures that enable international adoption in the first place. Full article
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