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[I]nternational adoption reflects a particular Western adoption method, which nowadays spreads rapidly across the globe through international conventions, destroying and replacing non-Western traditions of fostering children among extended kin networks.
The modern Western notion of adoption is deviant, in a worldwide anthropological perspective, in the sense that it is overwhelmingly extra-familial – there is no biological relationship between the birth and adoptive parents; above all, the link between biological parents and the adoptee is totally cut off in order for them to remain unknown to each other, while the adoptive parents give the child a completely new identity by law.
This unique and peculiar Western mode of adoption can be seen as a compensation for the complete break-up of the extended family in Western countries and its replacement with the nuclear family following the process of modernisation. As a result, contemporary Western middle-class concepts of abandonment and abandoned children diverge fundamentally from those of non-Western societies, where the practice of fostering and circulating children among relatives is much more common than adoption itself. Such concepts are today made hegemonic through conventions on international adoption, like the Hague Convention.
- Tobias Hubinette, Between European Colonial Trafficking, American Empire-Building and Nordic Social Engineering: Rethinking International Adoption From a Postcolonial and Feminist Perspective
Bolded mine. See last post.