What are the implications of the massive movement of children from poor nations to the affluent West? How is adoption made possible by globalizing forces, facilitated by new media technologies such as the Internet, and inflected by the cultural politics of multiculturalism?
In this special issue, scholars—several of whom are adoptive parents—from a variety of disciplines focus on the culture and politics of transnational adoption, exploring relationships between the sending and receiving nations. Until the mid-1970s, adoptive families were pressured to forget the child’s past and birth culture and to create “as if” biological families. Since then, the culture of adoption has moved dramatically toward openness, generating preoccupations with origins and loss, as well as new kinds of border-crossing movements such as orphanage visits, homeland journeys, and culture camps established by sending nations now eager to embrace the adoptees. This collection of essays examines the complex interplay of race, culture, identity, kinship, and belonging in this contemporary form of family building.
Contributors. Lisa Cartwright, Claudia Fonseca, Cindi Katz, Eleana Kim, Toby Alice Volkman, Barbara Yngvesson