Dialogues Across Disciplines
Meaningful discussion about intercountry adoption (the adoption of a child from one country by a family from another country) necessitates an understanding of a complex range of issues. These issues intersect at multiple levels and processes, span geographic and political boundaries, and emerge from radically different cultural beliefs and systems. The result is a myriad of benefits and costs that are both global and deeply personal in scope. This edited volume introduces this complexity and gives voice to the many sides of the intercountry adoption debate – for, against, and the ranges in between. Its 27 chapters feature a “who’s who” of intercountry adoption, including writings from top scholars in law, medicine and health, social work, anthropology, religion, sociology, and history, and perspectives from parents, policymakers, adoptees, and agency representatives. Adoption practitioners and professionals who live and breathe intercountry adoption on a daily basis offer first-hand experiences and viewpoints. A range of religious perspectives on intercountry adoption is also featured; an aspect that has not yet been explored in detail. Contributors hail from around the world, from both origin and receiving countries, and provide global and broad cultural perspectives on the topic. While the primary function of this edited volume is to present the variety of research and views on intercountry adoption, this volume is also an accessible resource and introductory “handbook” for scholars and practitioners. In setting forth the current interdisciplinary, global, and complex conversation, the book offers a starting point for a new path in intercountry adoption, one where no one is excluded from the conversation, where research and study continue to flourish, and where stronger policies will emerge that protect children, birth parents, and adoptive parents.