Cover

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Series Info, Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Series Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

I am pleased to present the forty-second book in the Basic Bioethics series. The series makes innovative works in bioethics available to a broad audience and introduces seminal scholarly manuscripts, state-of-the-art reference works, and textbooks. ...

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Acknowledgements

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pp. ix-x

The Politics of Adoption was born in 2010 when I joined MIT as an assistant professor of French Studies. After ten years of teaching and writing in Paris, I was eager to open new directions in my study of kinship and belonging. This book can be read as a first contribution to a broader project that questions the very notion of “culture.” ...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xxvi

On May 17, 2013, after several months of fierce debate in the media, in the streets, and in the legislature, France legalized same-sex marriage and entitled homosexual couples to adopt children jointly. A major watershed had apparently occurred: henceforth, French family law would ostensibly treat all citizens alike, with no distinction based on sex, gender, or sexuality. ...

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1 The Multiple Meanings of Adoption

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pp. 1-16

Adoption covers situations that have varied greatly from one culture and period to another. They range from the transfer of political power (during the Roman Empire) to the sharing of economic resources among neighbors (notarial adoption in the Middle Ages), to the passing on of personal property (the Napoleonic Code Civil of 1804), ...

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2 The Legislative Arena

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pp. 17-46

The history of adoption policies in France is surprisingly consistent in terms of the issues debated over the past sixty years or so. Despite profound changes in the institution of adoption, the questions that frequently resurface concern the imbalance of supply and demand,2 the status of single women,3 and the relationship between children ’ s rights and the right to children.4 ...

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3 The Jurisprudential Forum

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pp. 47-72

Adoption brings into play a set of disparate institutions from child welfare agencies to the social services administration via regional governments, local courts, and administrative tribunals, all driven by very different—indeed, opposing—interests and modes of socialization and symbolic reward. ...

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4 Administering Parenthood

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pp. 73-96

The field of adoption includes players from varying backgrounds and careers: local and national administrative personnel, independent psychologists and psychiatrists, volunteers in humanitarian organizations, activists for parental causes, journalists, and so on. ...

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5 What Approval Means

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pp. 97-110

During the nineteenth century, Western societies sought to enhance surveillance of fringe groups by anticipating the danger represented by the latter.2 They drew support from a new notion based on probability and abstraction, namely, risk.3 ...

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6 Children of the Nation

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pp. 111-130

On a talk show called Mots Croisés (Crossword), broadcast on French television in May 2007, essayist Alain Finkielkraut—discussing the subject of national identity—claimed that France was not a “smorgasbord.” Referring to the obligations that went with “integration,” he stressed that people had to earn French nationality. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 131-134

The Politics of Adoption is an invitation to question what makes a community, to shift the issue of biology from a perspective centered on the significance of vital ties to a critical analysis of technologies of power through which we conceive ourselves as living beings. 2 ...

Main Abbreviations

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pp. 135-136

Chronology

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pp. 137-140

Legal Forms of Adoption

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pp. 141-144

Institutions

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pp. 145-150

Notes

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pp. 151-186

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 187-194

Index

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pp. 195-208

Series Page

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