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Negotiating migration as parenting work in Flemish-Ethiopian transnational adoption

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Abstract
Transnational adoption is often viewed as a way of reproduction, rather than as an involuntary, though privileged migratory movement. This paper, however, argues that the conceptualization of the adoptee as migrant has the capacity to put the dramatized and exceptionalized experiences of adoptees in a broader framework, and as such, de-pathologize the adoptee’s condition, as well as to lay bare the global inequalities that are underlying transnational adoption and that tend to be domesticated within the family. Moreover, focusing on the adoptive families’ dealing with/denying of their child’s migrant status as well as on their coping with privilege and exclusion can reveal deeply rooted nativist ideologies and essentialist views on identity that complicate adoptees’ (and more general migrants’) lives. To explore how the migratory condition of adoptees is negotiated within the family, I draw upon ethnographic fieldwork and interviews among Flemish parents who have adopted children from Ethiopia, providing descriptive detail about their parenting practices in relation to their children’s perceived difference. It is investigated (1) how the parenting work can be interpreted as part of processes of ‘othering’ and subjection as well as self-construction and resistance and (2) if the parenting work can represent a political act of citizenship, capable of generating empowerment and expanding inclusivity. By focusing on transnational adoption as a migratory practice that is negotiated within the intimate realm of the family, this paper aims both to further our understanding and theorization of the dynamics and consequences of transnational adoption and to contribute to an approach in migration studies that is concerned with the intimate and subjective.
Keywords
transnational adoption, family, migration

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Chicago
De Graeve, Katrien. 2011. “Negotiating Migration as Parenting Work in Flemish-Ethiopian Transnational Adoption.” In Congress Porgramme and Book of Abstracts of SIEF Congress, 206–206.
APA
De Graeve, K. (2011). Negotiating migration as parenting work in Flemish-Ethiopian transnational adoption. Congress porgramme and book of abstracts of SIEF congress (pp. 206–206). Presented at the People make places : Ways of feeling the world : The 10th Congress of the International Society of Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF - 2011).
Vancouver
1.
De Graeve K. Negotiating migration as parenting work in Flemish-Ethiopian transnational adoption. Congress porgramme and book of abstracts of SIEF congress. 2011. p. 206–206.
MLA
De Graeve, Katrien. “Negotiating Migration as Parenting Work in Flemish-Ethiopian Transnational Adoption.” Congress Porgramme and Book of Abstracts of SIEF Congress. 2011. 206–206. Print.
@inproceedings{1864948,
  abstract     = {Transnational adoption is often viewed as a way of reproduction, rather than as an involuntary, though privileged migratory movement. This paper, however, argues that the conceptualization of the adoptee as migrant has the capacity to put the dramatized and exceptionalized experiences of adoptees in a broader framework, and as such, de-pathologize the adoptee{\textquoteright}s condition, as well as to lay bare the global inequalities that are underlying transnational adoption and that tend to be domesticated within the family. Moreover, focusing on the adoptive families{\textquoteright} dealing with/denying of their child{\textquoteright}s migrant status as well as on their coping with privilege and exclusion can reveal deeply rooted nativist ideologies and essentialist views on identity that complicate adoptees{\textquoteright} (and more general migrants{\textquoteright}) lives. To explore how the migratory condition of adoptees is negotiated within the family, I draw upon ethnographic fieldwork and interviews among Flemish parents who have adopted children from Ethiopia, providing descriptive detail about their parenting practices in relation to their children{\textquoteright}s perceived difference. It is investigated (1) how the parenting work can be interpreted as part of processes of {\textquoteleft}othering{\textquoteright} and subjection as well as self-construction and resistance and (2) if the parenting work can represent a political act of citizenship, capable of generating empowerment and expanding inclusivity. By focusing on transnational adoption as a migratory practice that is negotiated within the intimate realm of the family, this paper aims both to further our understanding and theorization of the dynamics and consequences of transnational adoption and to contribute to an approach in migration studies that is concerned with the intimate and subjective.},
  author       = {De Graeve, Katrien},
  booktitle    = {Congress porgramme and book of abstracts of SIEF congress},
  keyword      = {transnational adoption,family,migration},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Lisbon, Portugal},
  pages        = {206--206},
  title        = {Negotiating migration as parenting work in Flemish-Ethiopian transnational adoption},
  year         = {2011},
}