The papers here examine the global circulation of both ideologies and practices that underlie the notion of "childhood," as well as the circulation or migration of children themselves. We ask what are the implications of the global circulation of constructions and practices of children and childhood, and how does the state involve itself in these processes? Specifically, the papers look at children and childhood in light of what Bock, Gaskins, and Lancy (2008:4) term "disruptive experiences." Collectively, the papers examine the experiences of Romanian street children in Paris (Terrio), trafficked children in the U.S. (Uehling), the unborn and the recently born children of African asylum seekers in Ireland (Shandy), and the children of Mexican migrants on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border (Boehm). In these settings children have roles as individual actors, but this agency is tempered by the notion that adult oversight of these youth is frequently a function of the state or a negotiated reality between parents and the state. The articles, social commentary and book reviews therefore provide fodder for recent debates within anthropology that emphasize the role of children as independent actors by highlighting the tension between "structure and agency," and problematizing these terms and their interaction in important ways.