restricted access Kinship Secrets and Narrative Work: The Shifting Political Economy of Adoption in Vietnam


Vietnam has a long history of diverse forms of adoption. Yet contemporary domestic adoption remains largely invisible, with families often keeping it secret. The three narratives of secret adoption examined here illuminate the complex dynamics that have naturalized the middle-class biological nuclear family as the ideal for a market economy. As women narratively perform kin-work to make such a family visible and real, they render invisible other relations of blood and desire. Enmeshed in classed, gendered and intimate dynamics of transparency and secrecy, adoptive kinship in Vietnam delineates new subjectivities, affects and forms of political economy.