Since the late 1960s, transnational adoption has emerged as a global phenomenon. Due to a sharp decline in infants being made available for adoption locally, involuntarily childless couples in Western Europe and North America who wish to create a family, have to look to countries in the poor South and Eastern Europe. This book locates transnational adoption within a broad context of contemporary Western life, especially values concerning family, children and meaningful relatedness, and explores the many ambiguities and paradoxes that the practice entails. The author touches on several important themes such as the perceived relationship between biology and sociality and notions of child, childhood and significant relatedness across time and space; on the role played by the "psycho-technocrats" and their effect on national and international policy and practice of transnational adoption. Finally, the author shows how transnational adoption both depends upon and helps to foster the globalization of Western rationality and morality.
Signe Howell is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. She was Visiting Professor at the universities of Gothenburg, Virginia, Cambridge, Berkeley, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She has published extensively on religion and kinship Society and Cosmos (OUP), Societies at Peace (Routledge), For the Sake of our Future: Sacrificing in Eastern Indonesia (Leiden UP), and The Ethnography of Moralities (Routledge).