International adoption

Authored by: Andrea Louie

Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415779722
eBook ISBN: 9780203863299
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183493


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Transnational adoption has been celebrated as a form of altruism through which children orphaned by war, natural disasters, or other circumstances are given new homes and the opportunity for better lives. However, it is important to remember that adoption also represents the movement of children, often too young to give consent, across national, and often racial boundaries to become a permanent part of their new families. In this sense, transnational adoption has been critiqued by some, as much as it has been celebrated by others, both for the procedural irregularities that sometimes involve the trafficking of children or the adoption of children who are not true orphans, and for the broader inequalities that define the transfer of children from poorer to wealthier nations, and from the global south to the global north.

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