ANT10 Howell and Marre

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To kin a tansnationally adopted child in Norway and Spain: the achievement of resemblances and belonging: Howell and Marre


  • Focus on adoptive parents of children from the Third World and Eastern Europe.
  • Kinning Process
  • Resemblances of body and character > symbolising bodies
  • Adoption rates are extremely high and transnational adoption rates are likely to increase.
  • Mized focus on kinning their child and ensuring resemblances between themselves and the child. Alternatively, in some circumstances they focus on emphasising the difference in background, culture and bilogy.
  • Norway and Spain have similar values on transnational adoption, yet thier motives are very different. 
  • Norway: involuntary childlessness and driving force for adoption is to become a "norm,al family"
  • Spain: undertaken by people who alreayd have children but for whaever reason don't want to do it "naturally." One might assume that this is therefore a less emotional process, seeing as they alreayd have children. But no. In both countries, parents form an immediate bond within a discourse of fate. 

Norwegian family life and faily values

  • 1950s women housewives. Ideal family was husband, wife and 2 / 3 children.
  • 1970's rise of feminism cause the shift: Women started working.
  • Abortion was legalised and contraception was made available to unmarried young people. stigma attached to unwed motherhood disappeared and support was given to single mothers.
  • women pursued careers but still felt that the experince of motherhood  was vital. 
  • No child is given up for adoption so to adopt means to adopt from abroad.
  • Only married couples are considered: neither cohabiting or homosexuals. Single women may in some circumstances. 
  • Can trace biological parents on reaching maturity if desired.

Spanish family life and family values

  • Less women working, conditions asnd wages are unequal. High youth unemployemtn means young people stay at home with their parents and do not marry until later - fertility on the decline. Children seen as incompatible with their careers. 
  • single women can choose to use NRTs, but married women need permission from their husbands.
  • Single people and homosexual couples may also adopt.
  • Donor identity is not shared.

Parental attitudes to the reality of a kin relationship

  • Strong idea of fate and meant to be - no other child would have worked as well. Norwegian couples have been preparing themselves for a long time for becoming parents…


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