adoptive parenthood

Karen Szala-Meneok (a7526003@MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA)
Wed, 18 May 1994 22:08:47 -0400


There has been a rash of interest in adoptive parenthood lately. But I
think you might find Ester Goody's work on adoption, adrogation,
pro-parenthood important if as I'm sure you have already read. I'm
posting from home and don't have the precise reference handy. However
you might also consider doing a search via Social Science citation Index
under Goody to see who has quoted this important work.

I also suggest you check out John Terrell's recent article that appeared
in the spring issue of American Anthropologist on adoption. As well John
Hughes as ongoing research on adoption.... He is at Wichita State University.
Both have posted here on ANTHRO-L.

Another interesting area that you might not have considered immediately
is the resent Royal Commission Report on New Reproductive Technology here
in Canada. Extensive interviews with infertile couples, and the
legal entanglements regarding the adoption of children conceived via
anonynmous ova+sperm donors make for some interesting reading.

The RCR on NRT also explores the issue of designer babies and the impact
this has on notions of what constitutes an "ideal adoptable baby".... As
we "speak" thousands of infants await adoption but do not fall into ideal

I'm quite interested in this area and would look forward to hearing from
others on ANTHRO-L regarding their experiences with adoption in the field.

With our resent blip of postings on the relevance of kinship this querie
on adoption points to the very real and dynamic position kinship plays in
contemporary social relations. At the end of my course on Kinship and
Social Org. I deal with the impact of new Reproductive technologies on
kinship in the next millenium. These are my most attentive and lively
class discussions. Working out a kinship diagram with 20th cent. blended
families, plus IVF babies (in all of the various permutations) makes
segmentary lineages look simple.

Like ethnomethodology - kinship with all its tarnished beauty is one of the
things that makes anthropology different from other disciplines....

Karen Szala-Meneok
Wilfrid Laurier University